Friday, January 23, 2015

Color Theory for Kids {free printable color book}

I'm taking continuing education night classes in graphic design. A few nights into the class, we spent three hours on color theory. It was crazy cool and I had an inkling my boys might find it interesting too.

I made them a fun interactive book to complete. It explains the color wheel, primary and secondary colors, complementary colors, and tints and shades. We used our DIY marbleized paper as the cover!

downloaded PDF of the book
heavyweight cardstock
crayons, colored pencils, or markers
unconventional paper punch
paint (red, yellow, blue, white, and black as well as any additional

I've got two PDF files for you to choose from. The first is for those of you who want to print double-sided. Download the 6-page PDF here.
On the back of the PDF's page 1, print page 4.
On the back of the PDF's page 2, print page 5.
On the back of the PDF's page 3, print page 6.

For those of you who don't want to mess with figuring out how to reinsert the paper properly in the printer, here's another PDF for you to download. You can toss the cover page and just staple the pages in the corner like a short stack of activity pages.

Print pages on heavyweight cardstock since some pages require painting. Trim them along the dotted line. Use an unconventional paper punch to punch a hole in the page with the color wheel spinner as well as the arrow spinner. Cut out the spinner and attach to the color wheel with a brad.

To make the pages into a book, arrange the pages and fold in the center.  Carefully and loosely, trying as best you can not to crease the pages too much, fold under the back half of the book so it can fit in a stapler. Staple twice along the fold.

Now hand over the book and some art supplies and watch your kids learn color theory!

Note: If you're doing the book in one sitting, I recommend only using paint on the tints and shades pages, so that there's no down time for drying. My boys mixed the paint colors on the equations pages and then colored the answers in marker. I also used small clipboards to hold the pages open while they painted.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm planning on adapting this a little to teach to 14 yr olds! They'll love the bicycle. :)

  2. Your lesson are great. I want to print My Color Book. Not quite sure how to do that? Submitted my email.
    Love the watercolors your children made and the Kandinsky like concentric circles in chalk.


    1. I didn't receive a request via email or from Google Drive. Try emailing me and I'll grant you permission if you're having trouble.

  3. Hello! What is an unconventional hole punch?

  4. One that doesn't have to be threaded through the paper. It can be a drill punch, etc. so you can punch holes anywhere on the page, regardless of how far the hole is away from the paper's edge.

  5. I would love a copy of this My Color Book! The link must be broken! Would you send me one via email?

    1. I've tried to email you the file from my Gmail account and through Google Drive. I get a 'message undeliverable' reply, as it doesn't recognize the domain If you have another email address, please provide it and I'll try again, Judy!

  6. My six-year-old granddaughter loved making this book with me, and she especially was smitten with the tints and shades! She loved seeing how colors could change by adding white or black. Thank you!

  7. very strange that I can not download. It is so great book for my daughter to learn different color!!

    1. Send me an email, Lisa, and I'll attach the file in my reply for you. Sorry you had trouble!