The Gift of Orange: Discovering Secondary Colors

I taught my daughter most of the colors at 18 months. We even have a video of her handing me crayons as I called out the colors: red, blue, green, purple, orange, yellow, brown, black,even gold. I cringe now at the thought of myself as the overeager and excited mama, daring to teach such a young babe when I should have just been guiding her as she discovers the world for herself.
As we get warmed up with our decision to keep our children at home at least for their preschool years, I learn to relax and let my daughter do what children do best: play, explore, and discover.
Red and Yellow Make Orange

For our most recent Painting Day for The Carrot Seed, we again tried our hand on Wet-on-Wet Painting. I limited our watercolors to red and yellow and let Little T paint as she pleased, without any expectations of form. I then sat back, kept quiet, and enjoyed the moment when she gasped “Orange! I made orange, Mama!”

It may seem strange to have just two colors out when all colors imaginable are easily available. Why mix at all? But the joy of discovering orange is a gift to any child. You can read books about mixing colors and even memorize the color wheel, but creating your own color and seeing it with your own eyes is just magical.

As parents, we want to see our children acquire knowledge, know their colors, the earlier the better. But sometimes, seeing the wonder in their eyes and hearing their gasps of amazement as they stumble upon a new discovery is better than knowing all the colors in the crayon box, even gold.
Make magic!
Mariel Uyquiengco


  • Teacher Weena

    Its so wonderful to see the ‘Aha! moment’ in a child. Priceless.

  • thelearningbasket

    It really is! Teachers and parents are so blessed to be witnesses of those moments :)

  • Katey (Having Fun at Home)

    I love the idea of orange as a “gift.” Thanks for this post- good reminder that there are so many simple gifts out there to be reveled in.

  • thelearningbasket

    Hi Katey! Yes, the best things in life are the really simple ones.