Shamrock Color Viewer: a craft and a tool in one

In celebration of Saint Patrick's Day I bring to you the Shamrock Color Viewer! What better holiday to teach children about color mixing (and hence tying in the popular St. Paddy's theme of the rainbow)? And what better way to do it than with a fun craft that takes the shape of the symbol of St. Paddy's Day itself — the shamrock?!

The pictures below illustrate the different color combinations that my son had fun coming up with. The viewer proved to be a very engaging and educational tool. My son is still learning what colors make up each of the secondary colors (orange, green and purple). I'm glad this proved to be motivational in his learning.

 Yellow plus blue makes green

Yellow plus red makes orange

Red plus blue makes purple

Materials (written in order) needed:
  • 2 pieces of green construction paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • 3 plastic report covers; 1 each in yellow, blue and red. 
  • dry erase marker (or sharpie)
  • glue (Elmers, or Tacky) 
  • paintbrush (to spread glue) optional
  • hole punch
  • brass paper fasteners

Step One: Folding paper (see above for reference)
  1. Fold construction paper in half matching short sides.
  2. Fold again matching short sides so it is quarter-sized.
  3. Turn folded paper so the fold is at the top, and fold again matching short sides. Keep the paper positioned this way for the next step.

Step Two: Cut out heart
  1. Draw an outline of half of a heart as shown. The mid-line of the heart is represented by the vertical fold. Make sure when drawing the outline that part of top arc of the heart is represented by the fold at the top. You want to keep this fold intact!
  2. Cut out heart. Remember 2 folds should remain intact. The vertical fold on the left side of paper, and a small segment of the horizontal fold on the top.

Step Three: Cut out inner heart shape to make heart "window frame"
  1. Draw a smaller half heart inside the cut-out shape. 
  3. Unfold the heart "window frames", and see what you've got! You should have 2 hearts that each open up at the top (see the picture above on the right)
  4. For this project, 3 hearts are needed, so use half of the other piece of construction paper and fold as needed to cut out the last heart.
 Step Four: Adding colored windows
  1. Using the inner heart shape cut-out as a guide, draw a slightly bigger heart with a marker (dry erase or sharpie) around it onto a report cover (1st picture, above). Cut out. Repeat so that you end up with red, blue and yellow hearts.
  2. Open up heart "window frame" (2nd picture, above) and dab glue on. I used a brush to spread the glue.
  3. Press on heart shape made out of report cover, and close "window frame". Repeat for other colors. 

Step Five: Putting it all together
  1. Stack all 3 finished hearts on top of each other (picture not shown). Punch a hole in the base of the hearts making sure they all line up (you may only be able to punch a hole through 2 of the hearts at one time).
  2. Put a paper fastener through. Turn over and press down tabs.
  3. DONE! 
My son had SO MUCH FUN experimenting with his color viewer!
  • HE was able to manipulate it to find a butterfly shape!
  • We played a game where I would ask him questions such as, "What 2 colors make green?" AND "What do the colors blue and red make?" It was so cool to see him move the color viewer to figure out the answer.
  • I talked to him about the PRIMARY COLORS-red, yellow, and blue; and that combinations of these PRIMARY COLORS make SECONDARY COLORS-orange, green, and purple.
  • He had fun looking through them and seeing the world in different colors
  • We sung the song "The Colors of the Rainbow". It goes like this (to the tune of "3 Little Indians")
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
These are the colors of the rainbow

The song is pretty simple, I know, and not technically correct, as technically the rainbow is made up of Indigo and violet, NOT Purple. Often when we sing this song, I state this correction.  I'm not too worried though. He is in preschool. I didn't know the colors of the rainbow until high school. Purple, or Indigo and Violet, the kid is way ahead of me, either way!

Have fun crafting! If you have any other activities or relevant links that tie in with this I would love to hear about them in the comment section below!

If you liked this post and you want to stay informed of more kid activity ideas I post or find around the blogosphere, remember to "like" me on my Facebook Page! Thank you! Have a wonderful day!

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  1. This craft is so cute! Perfect to start the St. Patty's Day Craft season! Just posted on Craft Gossip

    1. Thank you! I love your website! I feel honored:)

  2. Such a great idea! I love the color mixing concept with this. It's definitely on our to-make list!

  3. Very nice! Pinned it to make for my now 9 month old nephew. Oh how I wish Pintrest had been around 17 years ago!

  4. What a great idea to teach kids their colours!Thanks for linking up to Kids Co-op.I also shared it on my FB page.

  5. This is such a great activity - love this idea! Thanks for the tutorial :-) I'm definitely going to try this with the kids.

  6. I love this idea, your presentation, your willingness to share and the lovely spirit of this blog! Will definitely be using this at my library. I wanted to mention that the suggestion of singing the song about colours "to the tune of 10 little Indians" makes me cringe every time I read/hear it. It's not in most people's radar, but being Indian myself, it is in mine... I understand no one really does this stuff intentionally at all, but if you were to substitute the word Indian for Jew, Black people, Catholics... it becomes so very clearly offensive...So I hope you will take this to heart and remember. Please keep up the excellent work! Looking forward to more beautiful posts of brimming with creativity!

    1. Hi! Sorry, I missed this comment when you posted it! I definitely can understand that! I would never sing the song "10 Little Indians" because I think it is offensive as well. Sorry I didn't think the mention of it as it being the tune would offend, but I understand why it does. I wish there was another song that also had the same tune so I could say that one instead! Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it!

  7. This is such a great idea. My son is obsessed with colour and has recenlt begun learning how secondary colors are made. He will love this. Thank you!

  8. I love this project and finally got to making it! Thanks so much for the idea. I wrote about the fun my son has had with it at:

  9. Really like this one! DD loves hearts and this is so easy to do. Thank you for sharing.


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