This article examines the role that qualitative methods can play in the study of children's racial attitudes and behaviour. It does this by discussing a number of examples taken from a qualitative, ethnographic study of five- and six-year-old children in an English multi-ethnic, inner-city primary school. The examples are used to highlight the limitations of research that relies solely on quantitative methods and the potential that qualitative methods have for addressing these limitations. Within this context the article contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative methods in the study of children's racial attitudes and identities. The article concludes by arguing that a much more integrated multi-method approach is needed in this area and sets out some of the most effective ways this could be achieved.