SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern

Students create colourful coffee fillters using water and markers. They use their colourful coffee filters to decorate a frame for a special picture.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten


Art Techniques
Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour colour mixing pattern primary colours secondary colours


Picture of Student White Cardstock Paper Crayola Markers Coffee Filters Scissors Picture Frame Coloured Pencils White Glue Water Spray Bottle

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SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step One

Step One

Use lots of different colours to colour on several coffee filters. Create lots of different patterns and designs. Explore a variety of ways to add colours, such as using only primary colours on a filter, or using only non-primary colours on a different filter.

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Two

Step Two

Scrunch the coloured coffee filters into balls. Place them onto a washable surface, such as a plastic tablecloth or garbage bag. Spray the coffee filters about 3 times. Turn the coffee filters over after the first spray to make sure the whole filter gets wet.

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Three

Step Three

Gently open each coffee filter and lay it flat to dry. Notice what is happening with the colours.
What kinds of patterns do you see?
- What happened with the primary colours?
- What happened with the other colours?

Allow the coffee filters to dry overnight.

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Four

Step Four

Cut the coffee filters into 4 quarters.

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Five

Step Five

Place your wooden frame on the table.

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Six

Step Six

Choose one of the  coffee filter quarters. Pinch the centre and glue the pinched part onto the frame. 

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Seven

Step Seven

Continue gluing the coloured quarters all the way around the frame. 

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Eight

Step Eight

Make sure you fill the entire frame with coloured quarters. You shouldn’t see any wood once you have finished.    

SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Nine

Step Nine

Practice writing a caption about your picture on a scrap of paper. Then glue your picture onto the card stock paper, and write the caption below it.


SPECIAL MEMORIES – Colour Mixing and Pattern - Step Ten

Step Ten

Glue the picture to the back of the frame.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Work independently and self-regulate;
  2. Create personal responses to the activity materials;
  3. Share their ideas with peers;
  4. Demonstarte a sense of accomplishment.


  1. As a class experiment with mixing primary paint colours together. Discuss what happens when mixing the paint.    
  2. Mix non-primary colours together and discuss what happens and why.
  3. Make up fancy names for the colours you mix.


  1. Have a class discussion about accomplishments and why they are important.  
  2. List some of the things students have already accomplished, for example,
    - level one in swimming lessons
    - graduating kindergarten 
    - completing their first dance recital
  3. Have students bring in a picture of themselves of a special memory and place them on display.
  4. Gather materials listed under requirements.


  1. Encourage students to view and discuss their pictures with other classmates.
  2. Explain to students that they will be creating a colourful picture frame for the special picture they brought in.
  3. Read some stories about colour mixing such as,
    Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stohl Walsh
    Colour Dance, by Ann Jones
    Little Blue and Little Yellow, by Leo Lionni
    Paint Me!, by Sarah Frances Hardy
  4. Show the students a colour wheel available at this site. 
  5. List the primary and secondary colours on a chart paper.


The Challenge

  1. Identify primary and secondary colours.
  2. Create secondary colours.
  3. Use your imagination and problem-solving skills as you explore ideas.

The Process

  1. Ensure all the materials are readily available.
  2. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  3. Observe students as they work.



  1. Once all the frames are completed, ask students to share their frame with the class or in a small group.