Fun with Rainbows
The weather provides all kinds of inspiration for learning. Rainbows are an especially wondrous sight courtesy of Mother Nature. Be sure to look for them after a rainstorm or even during a light rain shower as the sun peaks through the clouds. Here are some ideas to help extend learning through rainbows...
Books About Rainbows
Planting A Rainbow
by Lois Ehler. The description from the publisher says it all..."This is a dazzling celebration of the colorful variety in a flower garden and the cyclical excitement of gardening. A young child relates in ten simple sentences the yearly cycle and process of planning, planting, and picking flowers in a garden. Mother and child plant bulbs in fall, order seeds from catalogs in winter, eagerly anticipate the first shoots of spring, select seedlings in summer, 'and watch the rainbow grow,' reveling in the opulence of color." Ages 4-8. (Published by Voyager Books)
What Makes A Rainbow: A Magic Ribbon Book
by Betty Ann Schwartz. The publisher says, "A rainbow of ribbons magically appear when you open the pages of this innovative book! Toddlers will love listening to the charming story and seeing a different colored ribbon with the turn of each page. The last page is sure to delight with all the colors of the rainbow. What a fun way to learn colors!" Ages 0-4.
What Makes a Rainbow?: Pop-Up
by Betty Ann Schwartz. What Makes a Rainbow? is a winner because it's clever, well-made, colorful, educational, beautifully illustrated and sturdy. (No, a child can't rip out the ribbons; however, don't give them any scissors! Ha.) Little Rabbit asks his mother, "What makes a rainbow?" and she tells him to ask his friends. Ages 0-4.
Make Your Own Wordless Rainbow Book!
Assemble 8 pieces of plain, white paper. Punch 3 holes in the side of the paper so you can attach them together with colored yarn or ribbon. Invite your child to draw a rainbow on the cover page.
Then ask your child to draw one curved line (like an arc of the rainbow) in a different color of the rainbow on each page. (Just a line or scribble of color is fine if your child cannot draw an arc.)
Make one line of color on each page in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo (Dark Blue) and Violet (Purple). Look through some magazines, old greeting cards, junk mail, etc., to find pictures to represent each color. For example, a red car, a bottle of orange juice, a picture of a banana, etc.
Cut out the picutres and match them to the colors on each page of your rainbow book, and glue them on the page. "Read" the book with your child by turning the pages and talking about the colors and the pictures there.
Roy G. Biv
Did you know that the name, Roy G. Biv, is an acronym that stands for the order of colors in the rainbow? Here's how it works...
R = Red
O = Orange
Y = Yellow
G = Green
B = Blue
I = Indigo
V = Violet
Color a rainbow in that order on paper, and it will resemble the real thing. :)
Make A Dancing Rainbow!
Keep a supply of different colors of crepe paper streamers on hand. It can provide hours of craft activity fun without a lot of expense. You can use strips of crepe paper to make a "Dancing Rainbow."
Simply attach long strips of different colored crepe paper (in rainbow colors!) to empty toilet paper rolls or paper plates with tape.
Make enough for everyone in the family.
Put on some music (like "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz movie) and dance with your rainbow -- make the streamers go up, down, over, around, under, left, right, etc. This reinforces direction concepts and it's a whole lot of fun.
Take your rainbow on a walk (when the weather allows) and have fun letting the streamers blow in the wind.
Make a Rainbow Curtain!
You've seen beaded curtains in doorways. Make a Rainbow Curtain!
Just attach long streamers of crepe paper from the top of the door jam. Let each piece extend to the floor.
Attach the streamers in the color order of the rainbow. It's a beautiful indoor reminder that the winter weather won't last forever. Little kids love to walk through the rainbow curtain doorway and feel the streamers glide across them.
Make A Rainbow Crayon!
Take a few crayons in red, yellow, green, and blue and place a rubber band around them to hold them together. Invite your child to scribble a rainbow design on a piece of white paper.
Use Playdough in different colors to sculpt a Playdough Rainbow.
Make Rainbow Bracelets!
String Fruit Loops cereal onto yarn to make edible rainbow bracelets.
Rainbow Crafts and Activities
Find some really wonderful rainbow-themed crafts and activities designed just for preschoolers.
Be certain not to miss the experiment that let's you catch a rainbow indoors -- while helping your children to understand what makes a rainbow.
This easy and fun experiment will help kids understand how mixing primary colors together can make all of the colors of the rainbow.
Make an Edible Rainbow!
At this website, you'll find a recipe for making an edible Jello rainbow!
Have fun with rainbows!
Diane Flynn Keith
Updated February 26, 2011