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Different Shades of Blue and Grey in Nature: An Exploration

Incorporating colour into children’s learning is very rewarding. It can really help them develop their observational skills, their knowledge of the natural world and their curiosity about cultures and seasons. The Colours in Nature series celebrates the natural colours that you can explore with your child. Each blog post focuses on a chosen colour and all its many varieties to be found through playing and exploring. We encourage you to go outside with your kids, find colours together and build fun activities around your discoveries.

Where to find grey and blue things for kids

You’ll find blue and grey things all over the place in the natural and urban world, and depending on the time of year and the location, you’ll find your own unique shades of blue. Here are a few places to get you started:

Blue things in nature: rivers, lakes and rain

Get your kids to notice the shades of blue and grey in the sky and in the raindrops coursing down windows. Ask them to give you some ideas about why the rain looks particular colours when it lands in different places. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with and how it helps them learn about light and the qualities of air and water. Find specific shades of blue and grey to examine, such as the grey-blue of rivers or the salty blue-green of the sea, or even the shiny grey of freshly formed puddles. The best way for kids to experience the colours of water is for them to get outside, collect rain in buckets, and splash in puddles. Remember, when the sun comes out after it rains, it’s the perfect time to spot translucent grey steam rising from the ground. The ideal moment for a quick science lesson on water evaporation!

Different shades of blue in the garden, park or market

Many flowers have a blue or grey tint, such as hydrangeas and bluebells. But make sure you look for particular shades at certain times of year to make it interesting. Remember, there are blue shades of flowers to discover all over the world, so have fun with your little one exploring the local area for blue flowers where you live. Flowers are a great thought starter for kids’ activities. When you get home after a day of exploring, why not make a pretty flower collage, using scraps cut out from magazines and newspapers, or some blue tissue paper if you have it? See if your kids can recreate the blue tones and shades they’ve seen in flowers outside. Get them to search through magazines for shades of blue and cut them out to use for their collage.

Things that are blue: buildings and architecture in the city

There will be various shades of grey and blue to be discovered in urban environments, such as on the walls of buildings, and in the concrete of pavements. You have all sorts of particular shades to discover in your own city. In some cities, buildings are painted in a powdery indigo blue or could be in a variety of shades of grey concrete, in others you may have to look harder such as finding shades of blue in stained glass windows or shades of deep grey on slate tiles. Get kids to paint pictures of houses or city buildings, copying the colours and tones they’ve seen outside in the local area. They’ll need to look carefully at the colours in the street and then mix the right shades of paint to match. This is a lovely way to encourage their appreciation of the unique characteristics of where they live. Paints, of course, could get onto kids’ clothes! Don’t worry; just wash any marks straight away with cold water while the paint is still wet. Then wash as normal using your favourite Surf excel detergent. Just make sure you check the label before cleaning the stained garment.

Collect your blue and grey things

Blues and greys are hard to catch, so make sure that when your little one is making their discoveries they take a drawing pad and some blue pencils to record the different shades they find. Wherever you are, there are unique shades of blue and grey to discover Tell us what shades of blue and grey will you explore with your child in the comments section below.