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Color Mixing Coding Activity for Kids

color coding

Coding is essentially the language that computers use. Learning coding is vital for kids. Coding helps weave academic with life skills. It helps them with problem-solving and quick thinking. It also provides them a competitive advantage over their peers, as they will have the upper hand with knowledge of the technical aspects. Coding also challenges the children’s minds while bringing out their creativity, ensuring that the kids have fun and learn at the same time. Color mixing is always a fun activity for kids. Adding computer coding to the process makes it more fun and challenging.

Coding involves knowledge of different skills. The color coding systems include CMYK and RGB. The more common one is the RGB color model. It stands for the colors red, green and blue. These three shades of light can be mixed to create different colors. The RGB scale is used as the standard method of producing color images on screens, such as televisions, computers and mobile phones.

The RGB model is an additive model. When 100% of the three colors is mixed together, it creates a white light. When 0% of the same are combined, no light is generated, creating black.

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What to learn through the process?

For kids, an important concept that should be understood before starting to learn computer coding is computers don’t understand basic language that is used. To communicate with computers, it is required to use computer language or coding. This simple and fun activity teaches kids the concept where they have to translate the words describing colours into the codes that computers understand, i.e.. the RGB codes.

Through the activity, kids also learn about the concepts of input and output. When they ‘input’ the various codes, they can see the ‘output’ on the screen.

The system of hex codes uses six digits to represent the colors, two each for the different colors- red (R), green (G), and blue (B). Applying these three colors, users can create millions of different shades. For instance, orange color is created using RGB in the following rations – pure red, mixed with some green, but no blue. In hex code, the color is represented using #FFA500. The lowest digit 0 signifies an absence of color, thus black. The highest digit in the code, digit F shows maximum possible brightness, thus white color.

Kids use RGB color codes to color pictures drawn online or through any software such as Word, Paint among others. There are many templates available online for the same, a majority of them being in Microsoft Word. There are two ways to learn color codes in this software while picking the color for the selected part of the picture.

  • a. The child can simply move the cursor around on the color panel on the top left part of the window. While the cursor moves, the child should pay attention to changing values for Red, Green and Blue to see what colors involved what percent of the three colors.
  • b. The child can also change the values for red, green, or blue, to observe how the final color changes. A great feature of using the color panel on Word is that the child can see the previous shade as well to compare and contrast.

The image is an example of the different colour codes for various shades and the combinations.

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When kids are done with the coloring on the sample pictures, you can encourage them to create pictures of their own, and then practice more color mixing with the RGB codes. Some simple ideas include: a ball, a picture frame, a tree. When kids grasp the concept of mixing colors really well they can then extend the activity to analyse how changes in the RGB codes or values impact the final color. For example, you can keep two color codes, say R and G codes unaffected and keep changing the B code as values between 0 and 225. They can repeat the same process with keeping certain codes the same and changing others.  The exercise is both fun and a great learning experience for kids.

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