Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Spring and St. Patrick’s Day are coming up quickly, so I thought this would be the perfect time of year to do some rainbow activities! Rainbows are so cool, aren’t they? I still get excited when I see one- as do most of my friends and of course my littles! It blows my mind that light is not only made of all those colors, but that it can be refracted when it passes through glass or water droplets so that the colors in it separate. Isn’t our God just so creative? Let’s celebrate that creativity by diving in to some rainbow activities- don’t forget to fly on over to my toddler post “Radiant Rainbows” for more rainbow themed activities like rainbow noodle sensory play and rainbow hats!

Literacy:

-Rainbow song: I added this rainbow song (sung to the tune “Did You Ever See a Lassy”) I wrote to our daily calendar time. We sang it twice per day while I pointed to the words then once my little got the hang of it, I had him practice pointing.

-Rainbow writing: I saw this rainbow writing tray on The Imagination Tree about a year ago (hence all the chips in the paint!) and knew I had to make one for my littles. We use it ALL the time for scoop and play sensory activities by filling it with corn, beans, peas- whatever goes with the weekly theme but it’s actually meant to be used as a writing practice tray. To make one, just get an old metal cake pan and paint the bottom rainbow colors using acrylic paint. It’s a good idea to seal it with decoupage too if you have some on hand. After it’s completely dry (about 24-48 hours), sprinkle a tiny bit of flour in the bottom (just enough to cover the colors) and get out a set of flashcards. Show the cards one at a time to your little and have them practice naming then writing each letter. As they write in the flour, pretty rainbow colors appear, which is totally cool! To erase, just give the pan a gentle shake back and forth!

-“I see a Rainbow” book writing: I made my little a book using construction paper from each color of the rainbow. On each page I wrote “I see a” at the bottom, then had him trace the words while saying each letter. Then I had him finish the sentence by finding something of that color in the room and writing it on the page too. (I had him help me sound out each word as I wrote it in dot letters, then he traced the letters to practice forming the correctly.) I also had him illustrate each page. When the book was finished, I had him read it to me! I got this idea from Fun a Day.

-Rainbow name practice: I cut out a cloud and glued rainbow colored strips to it. I wrote each letter in my little’s name at the top of each strip as an example, then wrote it twice with dots for him to trace, then drew two lines for him to try the letter by himself. I got this idea from Planning Playtime.

-P is for prism writing practice: I know R is for rainbow makes WAY more sense this week, but my little has already mastered R, so I didn’t want to waste learning time reviewing a letter he already knew- so P is for prism it was! We discussed the letter P during calendar time each day, and I had him do this writing practice page during our literacy time as well. I made it by drawing the letter P with dots, tucking it in a sheet protector and having him trace the letters with a dry erase marker.

-Rainbow book list: These are the rainbow books we read this week- I learned SO much even though I taught about rainbows in 3rd grade…like did you know you can only see a rainbow if the sun is behind you? And that they’re actually a full circle but only look like a bow because the horizon line is in the way? So cool! Of course Noah’s Ark from your kid’s Bible is a must read this week too!

Math:

-Rainbow dot-to-dot: I printed this cool make a rainbow dot-to-dot page from Preschool Play and Learn. I had my little connect the dots 1-10 while saying each number and using the corresponding color. When he was done, he had made a rainbow!

-Rainbow number puzzles: I printed these cute rainbow number puzzles from Teachers Pay Teachers, then laminated them and cut them out. I had my little put the puzzles together by counting the gold in each pot then finding the corresponding digit.

-Rainbow ten frame: I printed this rainbow 10 frame activity on Teachers Pay Teachers then made it into a book for my little. I told him how a ten frame works first- you don’t just dot wherever you like, but start at the top left and move to the right like you’re reading, then when you get to the end of the row, you do the same “return swoop” as you do when reading a book. On each page, I had him identify the number then show it on the frame using a dot marker.

-Counting a rainbow: Any time there’s a snack involved, my little is on board and Fruit Loops are a great slightly less sugary alternative to M&Ms or Skittles for a fun rainbow colored treat! First, I gave him piles of each color that had the amount of Fruit Loops for each number he has yet to master (ie. 8 red, 9 orange, 6 yellow and so on)- this of course can vary with your kiddo! If you want to do all the numbers 1-10, just use 4 of the colors twice. I had him count each pile, then match it with the flashcard showing the same number (I laid out all of the flashcards to make it a bit more challenging.) Then I had him count a full cup of Fruit Loops (76!) before he could enjoy his snack.

Science:

-Rainbow science exploration: More than just raindrops can bend light to create a rainbow, so we did a few experiments to try to create our own. Honestly, the very best one was using a DVD! We also tried shining a flashlight through a prism, and cutting a slit out of a sticky note, taping it to a flashlight, then shining the condensed beam through a glass full of water.

-Eat a rainbow: I made my littles a rainbow snack with tomatoes, oranges, yellow pepper, celery, blueberries, and grapes (you can use whatever you like of course!) We talked about how different colored fruits and veggies have different vitamins and minerals in them, so if you eat a variety of colors- or a rainbow- each day, it will help your body be healthy! You can also make “rainbow soup” with tomatoes, carrots, corn, celery, and purple onion simmered in your choice of broth (which goes along with the book “Rainbow Stew” from our booklist above.) You can even have your little add each veggie to the pot before it’s hot so they can help cook!

-M&M rainbow: To do this experiment, place 3 M&Ms of each color in an arch on a plate (I used Skittles for the purple since they were on hand…you can also do a full circle of candy but we didn’t have enough green- as you can see!) Slowly add boiling water to the center of the plate until it just touches the edges of the candy then marvel as the water moves the colors from the candy to the middle of the plate. I got my inspiration from Gift of Curiosity.

-What I learned graphic organizer: At the end of our study, I made a foldable graphic organizer by folding a paper in half lengthwise, then top to bottom twice (making 8 rectangles). I traced the rectangles, used the first rectangle for the title spot, then had my little give me a fact about rainbows for each color in the rainbow (7 in all).

Art:

-Grow a rainbow: This project is soooo cool to watch, and if you let it sit for a few hours, you’ll end up with a full bow like we did! My little and I each colored the end of a folded paper towel with ROY G BIV using washable markers. Then, I placed the ends in two cups about 1/2 full of water and as the water absorbed up the towel, it carried the color with it! You can make this a science experiment too if you like by talking about capillary action- or water’s ability to travel through an object even against gravity because the molecules pull each other along- and how the molecules bring the color in the markers along with them as they go. Or, you know, just do it for fun! LoL

-Color mixing rainbow painting: I gave my little a plate with the following paint colors on it- red, yellow with a dot of red, yellow, yellow with a dot of blue, blue, blue with a little red. Then I had him use these primary colors either plain or mixed to paint a rainbow. (ie. you mix the yellow with a dot of red to make orange etc.)

Supply/shopping list:

  • cake pan painted rainbow colors on the bottom…a pencil box works too
  • flour
  • fruit loops
  • prism
  • old CD
  • flashlight
  • clear glass of water
  • M&Ms
  • paper towel
  • rainbow colored fruits and/or veggies (1 per color)

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