40 Brilliant Paint Chip Activities for Your Classroom

40 Super Fun Paint Chip Activities for Your Classroom

Paint chips aren’t just for deciding what color to paint your living room. There are so many paint chip activities to do in the classroom. From educational activities to organization to art projects, a few paint sample cards will liven up your lesson plans and help you keep your classroom in order. Any local hardware store is likely to have a beautiful array of these colorful chips. The best part: paint chips are FREE! Here are few activities to get you started.

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Academic paint chip activities

1. Synonyms

Synonyms Paint Chip Activities
Source: Shan from @teachingonthegc

Have your students brush up on their synonym skills using tri-colored paint chip cards. Write a common word, such as “big” or “small” in the top section of the card and then have your students write synonyms in the other sections. This activity will work equally as well with antonyms.

2. Fractions, Decimals, and Mixed Numbers

Paint chip cards are a great way to have your students practice fractions, decimals, and mixed numbers. Give your students a fraction, decimal, or mixed number and have them show it three ways – with words, with a picture, and with numbers.

 3. Adjectives

Adjectives are key part of any grammar curriculum and color words are a classic example of adjectives. Grab a few paint chips and challenge your students to come up with an adjective for each hue. Extend the lesson by having your students write sentences or stories using their colorful adjectives.

4. Prefixes and Suffixes

Choose two contrasting colors of paint chips. Write prefixes or suffixes on one and root words on the others. Challenge your students to match them up to make words.

5. Shapes

Use paint chip cards to help remind students about the attributes of shapes. Grab some paint samples with three hues. Draw the shape on one hue, describe the shape on another hue, and write the name of the shape on the third hue.

6. Memory game

Create a memory game focusing on a skill, such as number and number word recognition, using paint chips. Make two identical cards for each item, flip them upside down, and your students will be having fun while learning!

7. Flashcards

No teacher arsenal is complete without at least one set of flashcards and making them from paint chips will save money. Choose a concept you’re working on, such as matching letters to pictures that begin with each letter, and create some attractive and colorful flashcards. You might even ask your students to make their own flashcards and then share them with a partner.

8. Fancy letters

Use cut up paint chips to practice phonics. Write a letter, letter blend, or vowel team on a piece of paper. Ask your students to cut up several paint chips and glue the pieces onto the lines. They can share the sounds their finished creations make.

9. CVC or CVCe words

Most paint chips have three or four colors – making them perfect for practicing CVC and CVCe words! Write one letter in each section of the paint chip. Using clothespins with corresponding letters, your students can practice spelling and reading each of the words.

10. Telling time

Use colorful paint samples to help remind your students of how to tell time to the 5 minutes. Choose a different color for each of the five-minute marks so your students can begin to correlate that color with each time. They will be time experts in no time!

11. Color matching

Paint chip activities are perfect for teaching colors! For young children, matching colors is a critical skill, and paint samples make this skill easy and fun to learn. Collect several colors of paint chips and make corresponding clothespins. Then students can match the clothespins to the paint chips while also naming the colors as they go.

12. Color sorting

Another great way to help the little ones learn and identify colors is to use paint chips and colored cotton balls. Lay out several colors of paint samples and have your students sort the cotton balls according to color. With tweezers, the kids can practice fine motor skill practice as well.

13. Pattern blocks

Pattern Blocks Paint Chip Cutouts
Source: Emily from @knitwitte8

Those brightly colored pattern blocks are a staple in elementary classrooms, but they can’t be glued to projects. Use paint samples to cut out hexagons, trapezoids, parallelograms, and triangles so your students can create projects you can collect and assess.

14. Puzzles

Cut a shape out of several paint chips and then cut the shape into several pieces. Your students can work on building their brain power as they put these simple puzzles back together.

15. Punch shapes

Paint Chip Hole Punches
Source: Becky

Kids love hole punches, and the act of punching the shape is a great way to build fine motor skills. Lay out a selection of paint chips cards and hole punches, and let your students go crazy. They can use the shapes they punch out to make collages or mosaics.

16. Feelings cards

Many preschool and elementary school teachers spend a lot of time teaching students about feelings and how to react to different feelings. Use paint samples to make feelings cards for your students. Include an image of each feeling, as well as the name of each. Students can use the cards to help them identify what they are feeling.

17. Maps

Paint Chip Map Markers
Source: Kat Smith from @paperhermitage

Paint chips can become any number of things on a map. Perhaps your students can cut them into states to represent the United States or the shapes of countries to create a world map. Students can also show counties or neighborhoods on maps with paint samples.

Paint chip activities for classroom decoration

18. Popsicle bulletin board

Paint chips are perfect for making paper popsicles! The three hues on most paint sample cards can easily become tasty treats simply by cutting them into popsicles shapes. Add a catchy phrase, and you’ll have a great bulletin board.

19. Crayons

Many stores offer paint samples that are just one color, which makes them ideal for making paper crayons. Replicate the classic look of a crayon by adding black details. Your colorful crayons can be added to bulletin boards by stringing them together to make a banner.

20. Numbers

Another way to use those one-color paint chips is to turn them into small number posters. Add the numbers to each color and hang them on a bulletin board. Alternately, punch holes in them and bind them together to make an easy reference for your students.

21. Garland

Use brightly colored paint chips to make garlands to decorate your classroom or school hallways. You can cut any shape from the paint chips to coordinate with upcoming holidays or special school events. Ideas include pumpkins at Halloween, eggs for Easter, or music notes for a school concert.

22. Paper chains

Teachers use paper chains for many purposes, such as counting down to a special activity or adding a link for each book read. Using paint samples to make the strips for a paper chain is an inexpensive way to add bright pops of color to the classroom.

Paint chip activities to help with organization

23. Calendar

Keep your month organized with a calendar made from paint samples. Create your calendar template using a variety of paint chip colors. Frame your template so you can write on it with a dry erase marker. At the end of the month, erase it and get ready for the next week!

24. Passwords

Student Passwords Paint Chips Record
Source: Mrs. B

Keep all your teacher-related passwords or all your students’ passwords collected in one place. Create a cover using a paint chip, and then use a different color of paint chip for each website and password you need to remember. Clip them together, and you’ll never forget a password again! These are also great for younger students who need more assistance remembering passwords.

25. Business cards

Many teachers end up paying for their own business cards if they want them. Using paint chips will save you money and help you create an eye-catching, colorful card. Most printers can be set up to print on paint chips if they are attached to a piece of printer paper. Design your card in an editing program, print them out, and you’ll be good to go next time a parent asks for your email address.

26. Notepads

Create some colorful notepads to keep you and your students organized. Cut paper to the same size as a paint chip, bind them together, and you’ll have a cheap way to keep your thoughts in one place.

27. Daily plans

Planner Organization
Source: Tracy

The fact that paint samples have several sections makes them a smart choice for adding them to a day planner. You can write down important dates or lesson plans and your students can keep track of homework assignments.

Art project paint chip activities


Paint chips are the perfect size and shape to become bookmarks for your classroom or school library. Use them as is or make them fancy by punching shapes into them and adding a ribbon tassel.

29. Mosaics

Give your students a stack of paint samples and encourage them to cut them into a variety of shapes. Once they have their shapes ready, they can begin assembling them to make a colorful mosaic.

30. Confetti

Make Confetti!
Source: Tanja Loch

Skip the costly plastic confetti in favor of some colorful (and free) confetti. Grab a bunch of paint samples and a shaped hole punch. Punch several shapes from each color, or better yet, have your students do it for some fine motor skill practice. Save the punched cards and use them as bookmarks (see idea 20).

31. Canvas

Use a paint chip as a canvas for your students to draw or paint small pictures. You might have them paint animals to go with a science unit or famous landmarks to go with a social studies unit.

32. Dot sticker fun

Cut a variety of shapes from paint samples. Give your students colorful dot stickers and they can decorate the shapes. This is a perfect activity for making holiday trees, but any holiday can be represented, depending on the shapes you choose.

33. Free art

Set out multiple paint samples, as well as art supplies, such as cut up straws and glitter, and let your students be creative.

34. Puppets

Use paint samples in a variety of skin hues to have your students make puppets. Punch large circles from the paint chips and attach them to craft sticks. Your students can add faces, hair, and other details. This is a great way for students to discuss their feelings, but it can also be used to retell a story or put on a play.

35. Contrasting collages

Teach your students about contrasting colors by having them make collages using paint chips. Students can cut shapes out of the paint samples and mount them on a canvas to show how different colors contrast or complement each other.

36. Scissor skills

Give your younger students time to practice their cutting skills using paint chips. Read the story Henri’s Scissors, by Jeanette Winter, to introduce the artist Henri Matisse. Then encourage students to cut a variety of shapes to replicate the artistic style of Matisse.

37. Layered art

Encourage your students to learn about layers and the space between. Provide several colors of paint chips and have your students begin cutting abstract shapes from each one. Once they’re done cutting, they can layer the paint chips on top of each other.

38. Cityscapes

Your students will learn about depth and dimension by creating cityscapes out of paint samples. Ask each student to investigate and decide on a famous city to replicate with the paint samples.

39. Color wheel

What better way to make a color wheel for your art room than with colorful paint chips? Collect a large variety of different colors and hues. Connect them on one end and fan out the unconnected end to create your wreath.

40. Details

Paint samples are an excellent way to incorporate color into art projects such as torn paper art. Your students can cut paint samples into different shapes and add them to their art to add dimension and interest.

The possibilities with paint chip activities are endless! What will you and your students make first?

Join us in the #teacherlife community for great discussions!

Also Check Out:

40 Super Fun Paint Chip Activities for Your Classroom

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Sara Ipatenco

Senior Member

Sara is a 1st-grade teacher at a private school in the Rocky Mountains. She loves to read, sew, and travel. She spends most of her time away from the classroom with her husband and two children. They love taking long walks, watching movies, and playing board games together.

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