Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh

3 mice find primary paint and jump in the jars to see what will happen. Follow along on this colorful mouse adventure.

Materials

  • 11 paper plates. One colored red, one yellow, pink, green, purple, orange, blue, black, brown, white, and gray. You could have the children color the plates for you a day or so ahead of time.
  • Finger paints in red, yellow, and blue
  • White coffee filters or white paper towels
  • 4 eye droppers
  • Food coloring
  • 11 index cards or pieces of paper cut the size of index cards. On each one write the name of a different color using a crayon or marker of the color name (write red with a red crayon, yellow with a yellow crayon).
  • The night before, make ice in cube trays adding food coloring to the water.
  • Laundry basket
  • Many pairs of colorful socks

Vocabulary

  • mix (to stir together)

Introducing the Story

Put a large piece of paper on the wall and mark down 6 columns. At the bottom of each column make a colored mark. One red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and purple. Ask the children to name their favorite color and mark the column graph. Then show the children the cover of the book and ask them if they can guess what the story might be about (mice, painting, colors).

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Reading the Story

Each time the story names a color, point to it. On the pages where the mice are mixing two colors, ask the children if they can guess what color the mouse is mixing. As you read, encourage the children to use their hands to help mix and stir the paint.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children if they can remember what colors mix together to make purple, green, and orange. Ask them why think that the mice left part of the paper white? Can they make up a new ending for the story? (The cat couldn’t find the mouse, the mouse painted the cat when it was asleep, the cat ate the mouse).

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Music and Movement

Get out the scarves today and put on fun music to dance to. Have the children stir and mix with their arms and swirl their scarves in the air.

 Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.

Sing What Are You Wearing by Hap Palmer. You can find different versions of the song on YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMOmzaDc7U

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Sing The Rainbow Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOmDYt2a9Gw. After the children have introduced to this song, I cut out circles of all the colors and pass them out. The children then hold them up as their color circle is called.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

 Discovery

Mix food coloring and water into small cups. Put out the eyedroppers and the white coffee filters. Show the children how to drop the colored water onto the filter. As the water hits the paper, the colors will begin to bleed together and mix.  

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Or; have the children color white coffee filters with red, yellow, and blue magic markers. When they have colored the entire filter, give them a squirt bottle filled with water. Have them squirt their coffee filter three times. This will cause the magic marker colors to bleed into each other and make new colors.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Blocks

If you have colored blocks, put these out for the children to play with or to embellish your wooden blocks. As the children build, ask them how many red blocks they have had to their structure or how many blue blocks. Help the children to count if necessary.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.

Art

Finger paint today using primary color paints. Let the children choose two to mix and stir. While they are finger painting, challenge them to draw shapes and/or letters on their paper. I used to like to let the children finger paint directly onto the table as it allowed much larger movements and drawings. These can be preserved by gently rubbing a piece of paper on top. If you use the table for your base, give yourself plenty of time to wash the table, it can be messy but it is fun.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their name.

Sand and Water

Let the children choose two colors of food coloring to add to the table today. If you have two separate containers, put one color into each and allow the children to mix as they play.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Add ice cubes that you have put food coloring into. As they melt, they will release their colors slowly into the water.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect.

Library and Writing

Put out the index cards with the colors written upon them. Encourage the children to copy the color words onto a piece of paper using pencils or markers.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their name.

Dramatic Play

Tell the children it is laundry day. Set out a laundry basket, or box, and many pairs of colorful socks. Show the children how to find a pair of socks and roll them together.

Mathematics/patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Math and Manipulatives

Any counter-sorters such as bears that the children can sort by color. Encourage the children to put all the reds together and all the yellows in a different bowl or pile.

Mathematics/patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Outdoor Play

Play Cat and Mice. The teacher is the cat and chases the mice. Have a tree or piece of equipment be the safe space, mouse hole, where the children can run to get away from the cat. If the cat catches a mouse, the mouse must sit off to the side until another mouse is caught. Then the 2nd mouse sits out and the first mouse reenters the play. As the children become familiar with the game, they can take turns being the cat.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Transitions

Play I Spy. Say; “I spy with my little eye…”. Think of something in the room and describe it by color first. Then add shape and function until the children can guess. (I spy with my little eye something that is yellow and round. It has numbers all around the edges and we use it to tell us the time. I spy with my little eye something that is blue and has silver legs. The blue part we sit on at the table and it has four silver legs.).

 Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Resources

Dear Parent- today we read the book, Mouse Paint. This story is all about colors and color mixing. Do a color walk with your child. Pick a color that you think your child needs help with and have them walk with you through the house looking for that color.

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.