natural colors from vegetables

Preschool Atelier – Fun With Natural Colors

lascuolablog Atelier, Teaching and Learning

Our preschoolers are learning about the extraction of natural colors from vegetables like the purple cabbage.

The natural world with its shapes, hidden structures and variegated colors is always an interesting subject for children to encounter in their daily lives. In recent weeks the children have been working on research of the extraction of natural colors from a vegetable element: the purple cabbage.

Through the infusion of the leaves in boiling water, the cabbage releases a purple color. This color, if mixed with other elements such as bicarbonate or lemon, can still take on different metamorphoses. How? Let’s find out together!

Cabbage observation:

Observation, decoding, reworking and reinterpretation is a process that naturally belongs to children. 

What imaginations did the children have? 

Federica, Aterlierista: “Children, what’s on the table today?”

The geometric structure of the dissected cabbage reminds Philo of the digestive system. 

“It’s the digestive system,” says Philo.

Federica: “Is it the digestive system?” 

Philo: “No. It seems so, but it’s not.”

The broken leaves in the jug make Isla believe they are flower petals.

Isla: “Flowers!”

Felix observing a piece of leaf that has lost its color after infusion in hot water says: “It looks like the skin of a fish . .. it’s a jellyfish!”

Like little alchemists, the children created different shades of pink, blue and purple.

By adding a few drops of lemon to the purple water obtained from the infusion, it is possible to create a bright pink color, while, by adding a little bicarbonate, it is possible to obtain a blue color. What happens instead if we add a little bicarbonate to pink water? Try it for yourself at home, to find out!

Cabbage is not the only vegetable that can be given a natural color. There are many other vegetables or fruits with which you can experiment – such as pomegranate, chard, onion peel, and blueberries. You just have to try!

This is just a small snapshot into the work our Preschool students are doing in the Atelier every week.  Find out more by taking an in-person tour or speaking with our Admissions team. You can contact them at Learn more by visiting our website at

Written and photographed by Federica Gallone, Aterlierista at La Scuola International School

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