Family activity: how to make an autumn colour wheel

It's such a colourful time of year, so why not get out on a colour treasure hunt?

What a superb display of colour we're having this autumn, with leaves turning a multitude of shades of yellow, gold, orange and red - a real treat! The full colour palette of berries and late flowers can be seen on a simple walk in the park or even down the length of your garden.  So this month we're encouraging you to go out on a colour treasure hunt and create a colour wheel with what you find.

Completed colour wheel on wall
Colour wheel - you will need

You will need

  • White card or white paper and recycled cereal box
  • One large circle and one smaller circle to draw around (I used a cereal bowl and a ramekin dish)
  • Wooden pegs – as many pegs as colours on your wheel. (I used 8)
  • Colouring stationery – paints, felt tips, crayons, pencils – whatever you have, or a mixture of all four!
  • Paintbrush and water to clean brush – optional
  • PVA glue (if sticking paper to cereal box)
  • Scissors
Colour wheel - cut out wheel

Step 1: draw a large circle on your card and on your white paper.  Then use your small circle to draw another within.  Cut out to make two rings.

Colour wheel - add colours

Step 2: plot as many colours and shades of colours as you wish around your paper ring (I plotted eight) and colour in using whatever pens, pencils or paints you like.

Colour wheel - glue together

Step 3: leave until your paint is dry.  Spread some PVA glue to the card ring using a brush and glue your painted paper ring on top.  Once dry you can put a peg outside each colour.

Completed colour wheel on wall

Step 4: go into the garden or your local park with your wheel and find and peg a sample of all the colours on your wheel. Bring home and pin your wheel up for all to see!

This colour wheel can be dried and saved so that you can use it throughout winter, spring and summer too.

Note: please only pick flowers where there are a lot of the same species and make sure that you ask the land owner.

Simple method

If you have less time, here’s a quick way of achieving a similar result:

Simple colour wheel - collect your finds

Step 1: go out with a small bag on a colour treasure hunt in your garden or park - try to collect as many different colours as you can!

Simple colour wheel

Step 2: arrange your colours into a circle. Talk about the colours, what shades they are, the different names for shades - blush, rose, fuchsia pink, mauve, lilac, purple. Or you can make up your own, like flamingo pink, or watermelon! You can have lots of fun with this.

We'd love to see pictures of your colour wheel!

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