Mouse Paint

Written By: Ellen Stoll Walsh

Before Reading

Take a moment and let your child explore the cover and illustrations before you begin reading. Call your child’s attention to the colors on the page by pointing and saying, “Look, I see one, two, three little mice. They are painting. That is red, yellow, and blue.” If your child is verbal, elicit these observations through questions like:

How many mice do you see?

What are they doing?

What colors are they painting with? What other colors do you see in this book?

You can also ask personal questions like, “What is your favorite color? Do you have a favorite color you like to use while you paint? Did you know that you can mix different colors to make new colors?”

As You Read

Incorporate Movement.

These three mice move around a lot,  splashing and stirring to mix the different colors together so be sure to incorporate movement into your reading. After reading “The red mouse stepped into a yellow puddle and did a little dance.”, do a dance to demonstrate how you think the red mouse would mix the colors. Let your little one join in on the action by bouncing and twisting too. Storytime doesn’t have to be a time for stillness and silence on your child’s part so bring some fun and movement into your reading. 

Reiterate Combinations.

Also, after each combination, briefly reiterate the color combination by saying, “See, when you mix yellow and blue together, you get the color green! That’s why the yellow mouse has green feet.” This will ensure that your child is aware of the implications of the mice’s actions.

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret: 

Help your child get in the habit of asking questions and thinking about stories once they are through. Even if s/he is too young to verbally respond, simply asking questions like these and answering them yourself can demonstrate good reading behavior.

What did the mice think the paint was?

When you mix red and yellow together, what color do you get? What about yellow and blue? Blue and red?

Why did the mice leave some white space on their piece of paper?

Activity: Color Mixing Activity!

Inspired by Pocketful of Posies

Supplies: Shaving cream, red, yellow and blue food coloring, and quart sized zip-top plastic bags

You and your child will both enjoy this hands-on, mess-free color mixing activity using shaving cream and food coloring!

  1. Fill three zip-top bags with a few squirts of shaving cream each.  These will serve as your white mice. If you’d like, you can draw a little mouse face on each of the bags. If you’re worried about the bags bursting, just double bag them for extra protection.
  2. Next add some drops of each color into their own bag and zip them closed. Try to get out most of the air as you are closing the bags so that they are easier for your child to squish.
  3. Let your child squish each bag until all of the shaving cream has become that color. Then add a different color to each bag. For example, add some drops of yellow food coloring into the red bag and some blue food coloring into the yellow bag.

Your child can keep adding colors to each bag and squishing until every color has been mixed in.