My preschoolers have been enjoying a reptile theme recently. One of the fiction books we read during the theme was Eric Carle’s The Mixed-Up Chameleon. It was a hit, of course, and the children commented on the rainbow of colors in the book. We were inspired to create a piece of art dedicated to that silly chameleon’s colorful scales.
rainbow scales for The Mixed-Up Chameleon
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When we were discussing reptiles, we talked a lot about scales – the different shapes, colors, and how some overlap while others don’t. I did an image search for chameleon scales, and there were so many beautiful examples to share with the children! The images showing circular scales helped us decide how to proceed with our colorful, scaly artwork!
What the kids did
This was an incredibly simple art project, but the children really enjoyed it! Basically, they used the corks to paint the scales. With the paints we used, the corks fit right into the bottles or the bottle tops. Then they oh-so-carefully stamped the paint onto the canvas.
We didn’t use just rainbow colors, as we wanted to mostly match the colors in The Mixed-Up Chameleon. This is the order we ended up painting the colors – pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, dark blue, purple, and brown. In the book, the chameleon is white for a little while. The children thought that the white canvas was good enough for that, though!
After the first go-through with the paints, we waited for everything to dry. Then three of the children really wanted to go back and add more paint. One of my boys, in particular, loved just sitting and painting with the corks. I think he did most of the second coat of paint!
As of now, our rainbow scale artwork is up in our science center. I love it there! We just need to add some photos of real chameleon scales next to it – then we’ll be all set.
Do your children enjoy Eric Carle’s The Mixed-Up Chameleon? What fun activities have you tried after reading it?