Tissue Paper Spray Art

Observe color mixing and absorbency using colored tissue paper and spray bottles.

Big Ideas: Some materials can absorb water. Colors can mix together to form new colors.


  • White paper
  • Bleedable colored tissue paper
  • Water
  • Spray bottles
Illinois Learning Standards:
4.A Listen effectively in formal and informal situations.
11.A Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of scientific inquiry.
11.B Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of technological design.
12.C Know and apply concepts that describe properties of matter and energy and the interactions between them.
25.A Understand the sensory elements, organizational principles and expressive qualities of the arts.
25.B Understand the similarities, distinctions and connections in and among the arts.
31.A Develop a positive self-concept.
Absorbency: the ability to take in water or other liquid
Primary color: red, blue, or yellow
Secondary color: color made by mixing 2 primary colors (orange, purple, and green)

Activity Directions:

  1. Give each child a sheet of white paper.
  2. Have tissue paper cut into different shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, etc.)
  3. Place colored tissue shapes onto paper. Children can overlap shapes.
  4. Lightly mist the colored paper with water.
  5. Count to five. And then remove the colored tissue from the paper.
  6. Observe what happened to the white paper. Ask the children to describe what happened to the different colors as they mixed (blue-yellow making green, blue-red making purple and yellow-red making orange).

Investigation Questions:

Q. What happened to the colored paper when it was sprayed with water?
A. The paper absorbed the water and got wet. The color ran.
Q. What happened to the white paper?
A. It absorbed the excess colored water.
Q. What happened when two colors were laid on top of each other?
A. They blended together to make new colors.
Q. What colors were made?
A. Red+Blue=Purple, Yellow+Blue=Green, Yellow+Red=Orange
Q. What do you think would happen if you laid more than 2 colors together?
A. They would make different colors.
Q. Could you mix other things together to make new colors? Paint? Crayons? Dry paper? Playdough? Why or why not?
A. Dry items cannot blend together. Colors need to be in a liquid or moist form to mix together.


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