What are all of the colours of nature?

The Basic Idea

Children use variety of different materials found around them outside to combine with water and make paint. They then use this to create a piece of art or a colour chart.

Paint didn’t always come in tins. They were made with things that came from the ground, they were made from things that grew from trees,they were made from things that came from under the ground and so on and so on.

At different times of the year different colours can be found- red summer fruits and bright green stems, leaves with golden hues and browny greys. The soil is always black? Or sometimes red? Or sometimes grey? Or sometimes a reddy brown colour?

Challenge the children to explore and bring back a sample of a certain shade. Give them small see through bags (which can be emptied and washed and reused)/containers to collect different materials with. Explain that what ever they bring back will need to be crushed into a paste/powder.

Back in the classroom get the children to crush up what they have managed to find using pestle and mortars (or perhaps a set of bowls and rolling pins- more likely!) and add a little water.

Use these paints to paint. This could be either a class mural, an individual piece or even a giant colour chart.

Supplement your colours with other raw materials ones you can provide- blue berries, blackberries, raspberries, apple skins, beetroot etc.



How to take it even further or make it more challenging

Certain colours (particularly ones from fruits- berries etc.) will react with vinegar and will change colour or become more vivid. Which, if any, of the colours reacted with the vinegar? How can more colours be created by mixing them together? Record these for reference.