Are you a fan of Eric Carle’s The Mixed-Up Chameleon? This mixed up chameleon activity would be a great way to follow up a class reading of the book.
Related: Rainbow Science Experiment Ideas
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.
We were inspired to create a piece of art dedicated to that silly chameleon’s colorful scales.
It was a hit, of course, and the children commented on the rainbow of colors in the book.
Rainbow Art Mixed Up Chameleon Activity
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!
Materials for the Mixed Up Chameleon Art Activity
We didn’t use too many materials for this fun rainbow art activity! In fact, I was lucky enough to have all of the supplies on-hand.
Corks (ours were donated, but you can find some here, too)
Cork Stamping Art Directions
This was an incredibly simple mixed up chameleon activity and art project, but the children really enjoyed it!
Start by having a discussion about the chameleon’s colorful scales. You can touch on the colors of the rainbow during this discussion.
Next, grab a white canvas. We did this collaboratively, so we only used the one canvas.
You can let the kids each have their own canvases. Or you can make this art on white paper instead.
After that, show the children what some scales look like. My students were fascinated by circular scales, so we went that route.
Then you can model how to use a cork to stamp scale-like dots onto your canvas. My students were enraptured with watching and discussing this method. Yours might not be as interested, and that’s okay too.
From there it’s time to let your students get stamping!
What My Students Did
Like I mentioned earlier, we did this mixed up chameleon activity as a group. Well, we did this in small groups a few times until each child had a turn.
I was amazed and proud about how patient, helpful, and encouraging the children were as they worked on this.
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!
Related: Reptile Books for Preschoolers
What to Do Once the Rainbow Art Project is Done?
Once the mixed up chameleon activity is all finished, and the art is dried, it’s time to show off.
Bring out the artwork and let the children ooh and aah over their amazing piece of art! Ooh and aah with them.
We displayed our rainbow scale artwork above the science center for the rest of the school year. It was the perfect place for it.
We went back and added some real photos of chameleon scales next to the art, too.
Do your children enjoy this book by Eric Carle? Do you have a favorite mixed up chameleon activity for your preschoolers?
Looking for Another Mixed Up Chameleon Activity?
If your children love this book as much as mine did, you’re likely on the lookout for more ideas.
So I gathered a few more suggestions for a preschool mixed up chameleon activity here: