Please Don't Eat the Artwork


Color Mixing Magic Show and Carousel Painting


Teaching is performing and this is one of my favorite “performances.” This lesson works well with k, 1 and 2 (kids past that can see right through the magic). I meet the kiddos at the door wearing my wizard hat:


They are SO EXCITED to come into the art room when they see this hat and I get comments that range from “Bruja!” to “Soooooo beautiful!” to “are you a magic person?” (To answer that last one – yes, yes I am.) Once they are all settled around the demo table, we begin our magic show. I have a tray of cups of water:


And I ask my students what I need to do magic. A hat! Magic spells! Potions! A wand! Food coloring is my magic potions:


My giant blue crayon is my magic wand:


Together we say the magic words “Abra-cadabra-please-and-thank-you!” (Because Please and Thank-You are magic words. They make grown-ups magically happy and more likely to do what you want!) We mix the primary colors together to create secondary colors. It is so magical the kids are amazed. The grand finale is mixing them all together to make brown. What a show! After the magic show, students participate in what I like to call Carousel Painting. I have described it a few times before but this year the process is smoother than ever and the results are stellar.

Students begin at their table and “magically” turn their 9×12 white drawing paper into a hot dog. Then they magically turn that hot dog into a square. The result is 6 squares which will be painted 6 different colors. Younger students have trouble with this so it helps to have a crayon handy to draw the lines for them.

Each table is set with a big place mat, paintbrushes, and a plate of paint. The colors of paint match the table color. Students are instructed to fill in ONE of their squares and do a quiet thumbs up signal when they are finished. When everyone at the table is finished, its time to move like a carousel to the next table. I direct them where to go “blue goes to green, green to purple, purple to orange, orange to yellow, yellow to red, red to blue. GO!” They walk slowly and carefully so they don’t have a traffic jam.


Students MUST carry their painting on top of a place mat (just like at Waffle House!) so the paint does not get on their hands or on the table. I give them about 3-4 minutes at each table to complete their square. The kids are really good about peer-tutoring and helping one another finish and stay on track. When the entire class has made it around to all of the tables, they bring their painting on the place mat over to the drying rack.


Then, the kids are given a wet wipe to clean their hands and table. It is usually a very noisy and active day in the art room but it is something everyone enjoys and the results are great!


Author: artwithmsk

Hello! My name is Ms. Katzin and I am an art teacher at an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia. Teaching art is my passion and I love what I do!

10 thoughts on “Color Mixing Magic Show and Carousel Painting

  1. Um, I think there’s something wrong with your camera…those kids’ faces look kinda weird. Is it just me? Sorry, I mean, will you PLEASE get a new camera? THANK YOU. Doing what I want yet??

  2. Your instagram video on making the dyes was awesome!
    That’s interesting that they’re good at helping each other. In some of the ridiculous events I’ve heard about, I’d think the last thing they’d want to do is work as a team.
    Cute project! Magic FTW!

    • Thank you! I tried really hard to put the video on the blog but I couldn’t figure it out. Sometimes my studenst really pull it together and cooperate in delightful ways. 🙂 And yes. . . MAGIC FTW!

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