Color Mixing Memory

by Jennifer Segars

Jennifer is an elementary school teacher on leave to work full-time on her master's degree in educational technology. She worked as a computer lab teacher for six years. She has a husband and two girls ages 5 and 8. She enjoys playing softball competitively.

Instructional Objective The child will be able to match the appropriate color cards to form a color mix.

Learners/Context The learners are children ages 5 and up. Initial instruction could involve a hands-on painting session, in which children are shown the results of mixing various paints. The card game would enable children to test their knowledge at recalling which colors were required to mix together to form other colors.

Rationale Color Mixing Memory reinforces skills learned from mixing colors without involving the use of actual paints. The colors made by mixing certain primary colors would be reinforced in the child's mind.

Rules The object of the game is to collect the three matches needed for your COLOR MIX cards before your opponent does.

1. Each player places their three COLOR MIX cards in front of them face up - Orange, Green, and Purple.

2. The Paint cards necessary to make the mixed colors are shuffled and placed face down in front of the players. They are arranged in symmetrical rows, forming the MEMORY pile.

3. The first player turns over one card in the MEMORY pile and reveals the paint color. The player then tries to match the Paint card with another card in the MEMORY pile to form a needed COLOR MIX

For example: Red + Yellow = Orange

Yellow + Blue = Green

Red + Blue = Purple

4. When a Color Mix has been matched, the player collects the matched cards from the Memory pile and places them on top of the Color Mix card in front of them. That player keeps taking turns until they miss. A miss is two Paint cards that do not form a Color Mix that the player needs.

5. If no match is made, then the player turns back over the unmatched Paint cards in the same place in the Memory pile.

6. The next player to the left then takes a turn and reveals two Paint cards in the Memory pile by turning them face up.

7. When one player has collected the proper Paint colors to form all three Color Mixes, they win the game.

Card Design


Sample Card Layout:

Ideally, wouldn't it be great if the middle of the Paint cards was a transparency of that color which when placed over another Paint card transparency would reveal the mixed color.

Deck Design Each player requires: Three COLOR MIX cards (Orange, Green, Purple), and six PAINT cards for the memory pile (2 Reds, 2 Yellows, 2 Blues).

The deck contains enough COLOR MIX and PAINT cards for four players:

Design Process Color Mixing Memory began with the simple idea of reinforcing color mixing skills in young children without use of paints. I have been volunteering time in my daughter's kindergarten class, helping at various activity centers that the teacher has arranged. One of the centers involves mixing paints and having the child see the colors that result. A great follow-up to this (which could encompass their free time) is the Color Mixing Memory card game.

Designing the card game involved alteration of its makeup from a "go fish" type to the final memory format. The potential number of color mixes to be used was also an evolving process (Red + White = Pink was thrown out but could be reinserted into the game at any time along with Tan, Black, Brown, etc.). I consider the end result of color mixes a doable amount for 5 to 6 year olds.