Edible Color Wheels

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While many schools around here have gone to having the entire week off at Thanksgiving, my school still goes on Monday and Tuesday.  Attendance is down and the kids who show up are so ready for a break that it is hard to keep their attention.

Some teachers like to give validity to the school days by scheduling tests. That’s not really my style so I like to plan something a little fun. My favorite activity is Edible Color Wheels.



This color mixing lesson can be taught at any age but my high school students love it.  We are just finishing up a study of color and color schemes and will begin our painting unit when we come back on Monday. This is the perfect transition lesson. It is really fun and serves as a nice treat for the students who took the effort to show up.

Edible Color Wheels

3 Tubs White Cake Frosting
Red, Yellow and Blue Food Coloring
Nilla Wafers
Paper Plates
Plastic Knives or Popsicle Sticks
Edible Color Wheel Handout (Click for a printable version.)

I prepped the cake frosting the night before by dumping each tub into my stand mixer and adding food coloring. You will need one tub each of red, yellow and blue frosting.  The red will likely be more pink than red but it will still work. If your students question this just remind them that pink is just red mixed with white.

I placed a handful of Nilla wafers onto a plate and gave each student a plastic knife. Students were divided into groups of five or six and each group was also give a plate with a scoop each of the red, yellow and blue frosting. 


Each group received a copy of the paper color wheel and each student was required to mix at least one of the colors for the group. As they mixed colors, student spread the color onto a Nilla Wafer and placed it on the color wheel in the correct location. 

Each group had to check their completed color wheel with me and once approved, students were allowed to eat the cookies in the color wheel along with the extra cookies and frosting that each group received.  


The activity was a big hit and it was interesting to listen to them problem solve and figure out how to ration their frosting to mix each color. One group even mixed all three primary colors and placed a “neutral” cookie in the center of the wheel.

The highlight of my day came during ninth period when a student came in and said, “Mrs. Kohl, I am so excited about today. I know what were doing because its been on Snapchat all day!” I guess it’s effective education when you are trending on your students’ social media accounts!


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