I love when it’s time to do a rainbow color unit with my kids and to make lots of fun rainbow crafts and do activities with them! Why? Because I absolutely love rainbow colors. I love to shop for rainbow colored containers, clothing, shoes, flowers, paper, you name it I love it! It makes me giddy to walk down the aisles at the store and see the different shelves of plastic storage bins. They are so neatly organized and all blend so well together! I love looking at all the beautiful colors together.
So of course there are many educational benefits to teaching colors and rainbows besides the natural beauty of rainbows. Children at a very young age can start to develop the name for colors and associate things to a color. Teaching the actual color names is important as little ones develop. As children grow older, you can start to ask them to state items that are specific colors and teach them how to think in reverse. For example green, “What items in this room are green?” Or “What animals can you think of that are green?” Rather than show them a green frog and ask them what color is this frog? Another concept you are teaching them with rainbows is color order. Rainbows have a specific color order and by introducing that order to them at a young age they start to learn it simply by visual repetition. You won’t have to drill it or try to get them to memorize it later. One final concept you can teach them is color mixing. You will probably not teach the vocabulary of primary versus secondary colors to small children, but you can introduce the concept of mixing colors to make a new color. They can explore mixing and manipulating the colors to create their own shades of colors. There are so many fun and exciting concepts they can learn from rainbows and colors!
Here are some really fun rainbow crafts to make with your little ones. Some are a little more challenging than others, but some of the fun comes in appreciating the beautiful rainbow colored creation they just made!
This first craft is a very simple one for little ones. Cut a paper plate in half and glue on cotton balls. You can have the kids use their fingers to stretch the cotton balls. It is good fine motor skills. Also, it is a money saver if you are working with a large group of children because it can take a lot of cotton balls to fill a plate if you don’t stretch them out a little!The rainbow hanging from the paper plate can be strips of tissue paper or I used crepe paper. The crepe paper is nice to just unroll and snip the length you want but not as convenient if you don’t have all the colors in the rainbow. You don’t have to use all the colors either. Mine still looks rainbowish without every color!
My next craft is a marble painted rainbow. This rainbow doesn’t have the traditional rainbow look. I cut out the shape of a rainbow for the kids. Then put the paper shape in a shallow box. Drop a marble into a container of paint. You may choose to have one marble for each color or opt to not use all the colors of the rainbow. Then use a spoon to drop the paint covered marble into the box. Have the children roll multiple marbles around in the box and watch the paint create an awesome design on your rainbow cut out. You may have to redip the marble in the paint if it starts to wear out.
When the project is painted to yours or the child’s satisfaction add cotton balls to the ends of the rainbow shape. These of course, are your clouds! You may want to stretch these cotton balls out as well to save on cotton balls. Then glue the rainbow shape to blue paper for a nice “sky” background.
Next are some fun rainbow color activities.
My first activity is a letter matching activity. I buried magnetic letter in a container of sand. The children had to find the letter and match it to the letter written on the paper and it stuck to the metal pan. You could vary this activity to make it more challenging. You could bury the lowercase letters of “rainbow” and have them match them to the written uppercase ones or vise versa.
The next activity is a color matching activity. This is a great fine motor skill activity and matching activity for little fingers. I apologize the free printable I have is not quite the same as in the picture. I colored rainbow colored dots along the rays. Then put out a bowl of rainbow colored pony beads. The children then had to match the beads and place them carefully on the colored dots. I found the pony bead worked better than pom poms because they were smaller and didn’t roll around as much. You could also simplify this by coloring less dots. Find a FREE printable rainbow here: Rainbow coloring sheet
Another variation of this activity is a counting and matching activity. Here the children roll the dice. Then proceed to put that many fruit loops cereal or beads on the rainbow in the corresponding color. You could use a color dice in addition to indicate which color to put on also. I cut out a simple cloud shape and then glued rainbow colored strips of paper to the back. While it is similar to the other activity it give the children another opportunity to learn those colors, the rainbow order, and work on their counting and dice recognition. If you have a lot of children you can use all of these to keep them busy at once.
This next activity is for a preschool age or kindergarten age child. This is my rainbow graph. It incorporates graphing, colors, and a yummy treat at the end. You can find a link to the graph directions and the FREE printable here. I wrote this post a few months ago. It also works really well to use in March around St. Patrick’s Day.
Another yummy activity to try is rainbow toast. This is great if you are looking for a rainbow snack activity. I love this activity! Take a small amount of milk and pour it into a small bowl or cup. You will need six containers. Add food coloring to each to make each color of the rainbow. Using a clean paintbrush apply the milk “paint” to a piece of toast. At the end of the activity, the children will have rainbow toast and they can try their edible rainbow toast snack.
I also create a FREE printable rainbow activity book for little ones. This is a color word book as well. There are simple color words on each page to help your child learn these words. Each page is blank. I have the children fill the pages with magazine pictures, stickers, or stamps with the correct colors. Stickers and stamps are easiest for younger children. If the children you are working with are old enough you can have them cut out the pictures from magazines. This works best with preschool age who have some scissors experience.
Here is the FREE Rainbow Color Book printable link.
Here is another fun activity you can have the children work on. This activity is for older preschool age children.
The instructions for this activity are at this link. I also posted this activity around St. Patrick’s Day. You can add a shamrock for the holiday otherwise if you are studying rainbows you can leave it as a place mat or weaved picture.
Have fun teaching children about all the wonderful colors of the rainbow!
-Mom on the Move