Number Recognition Activity: Color Recipe

Number recognition is an important skill that is the foundation of math. It is important to work on this math skill and keep it interesting for your little ones. Numbers are all around us and we use them when following recipes, looking for an address or memorizing a phone number. This activity is a fun way to work on multiple skills at one time.

3 and up 

What you need:

  • 6 containers (we use glass cups)
  • Food coloring 
  • Dropper
  • Paper
  • Colored market, crayons, or pencils

How to:
Color Recipe is an easy-to-set-up math activity.

  1. To set up this activity make sure to mix water and food coloring to create the primary colors (red, blue, yellow). Make sure to have three extra containers. This will be used to create the recipes.
  2. On a piece of paper write down the recipe. Be clear as to how many drops of the first color you would like them to add and then again how many drops of the second color you would like them to add.
    For example: 6 blue drops + 4 red drops = 
  3. Have your child read the recipe. Then in an empty container have them put as many drops using the dropper as the recipe asks for. (For example 6 drops of blue and then 4 drops of red.)
  4. Ask them: “what color did that make?”
  5. When they answer have them pick out that color crayon or marker and draw a picture or a circle to represent the results. (Example: 6 blue drops + 4 red drops = PURPLE )

Continue to do this using other recipes. You can do this as many times as you want. Repetition will only make it easier for them and eventually, they can start to create their own recipe. 


7 yellow drop +  3 red drops = ORANGE

10 blue drops + 8 yellow drops = GREEN

This activity will help your child work on:
– fine motor skills
– hand-eye coordination
– colors (primary and secondary)
– number recognition
– counting
– addition
– following directions step by step

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Published by Christelle

Former Montessori School Teacher and Child Life Specialist. Specialize in early childhood education.

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