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Paint chips are a great manipulative for the art room. They are free, easy to find, and pretty! I wanted to compile some of the ideas I have come across and others I use myself in the art room. This isn’t an excuse to deplete your local hardware store of paint chips. Use at your discretion, and have fun!
Label the paint chips and keep them within view of the students during a color mixing project. This not only provides a great reminder but shows a visual cue for students who often forget the concepts from class to class.
Use cut apart paint chips to create a matching game. Students must line them up from darkest to lightest, reviewing tints and shades. But don’t stop there! Sort warm, cool, and neutral colors or even make your own color wheel. The possibilities are endless. I also have another color sort game, if you are interested.
Because paint chips are a little heavier, consider using them for sculpture. Orbs are fun, as well as boxes. It’s a great way to introduce 3D art to students if you are short on clay or don’t want the mess of paper mache. I equate it to origami.
I tried this game with students, and it was a HUGE hit! They each got a small swatch cut off from a paint chip. Then, they had to come up with a new name for the color. If they used the word “tint” or “shade” in their name, it was bonus points. I was blown away by what they came up with. I think the kid below was trying to call it “Green Lair.” Ha!
I envision doing something like this with kindergarten or preschool students. It will help them identify shapes, make shapes and form patterns with the different colors. Maybe this wouldn’t be a finished piece of art, but an activity or process to do before the art project.
Think of all of the colorful types of assessments you could create with paint chips as the “card!” Creating cards that students can test themselves with on paint chips adds a layer of fun. Students could even write artist statements on them!
What else would you add to the list?