I love rainbows. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner rainbows have been popping up every time I sit down to brainstorm activities. This rainbow craft was particularly fun because it used things I am cleaning out of my craft
dump closet, incorporates my son’s incredible love of pretend play (he’s a garbage sorter) and most every preschooler’s desire to sort.
You can do this in 2 parts – sorting one day, making a rainbow the next or if I was still teaching I’d do this as a cooperative group project. My 4-year-old did all the way up to putting the trash on then lost interest until I started putting some on. He ran back to the table saying he could do it better (is everything a competition in your house too? Sigh) so we did the gluing together. Make sure whatever materials you use are safe for the age/ability of child you are doing this with.
- Gather your materials. You will need a large piece of paper (I used a grocery bag cut open), glue, scissors, colored pencils/markers, 7 small containers, small squares of paper in the colors of the rainbow, a mixed mess of “garbage ” -paper/buttons/foam/plastic toys/ribbon in the colors of the rainbow.
- Next, fill a container up with all the “garbage”
- Start sorting by color.
- I was so pleased with how much he liked this part of the activity. It seemed to go on and on forever as he pretended to need a coffee break from his job at the garbage sorting factory. We are not short on imagination in this house.
- While he returned to work I made the rainbow with colored pencils.
- Time to add glue. We added two glue for a few colors at a time.
- Add the objects! We did this part together
- Add more glue.
- Add more objects.
- Let your rainbow craft dry.
Books About Rainbows
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Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Barry is a clever little book, you walk with her as she passes things like a yellow cornfield and blue pond until the pages above create a rainbow. I love the idea but reading it with my son ( who was 2 at the time) all he wanted to do was turn the pages as quickly as he could to make the rainbow. Not a big deal but this would make a better story time book than a bedtime one for that reason.
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for little curious minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and dive into it reading each flowers name on every page, or instead browse it more casually with a younger child simply noting the colors.
This rainbow craft project too complicated for your toddler? Yesterday in my Link &Learn weekly linky this awesome rainbow project from Toddler Approved was linked. When I saw it after writing this post I knew it would be a perfect link to share as an option for younger kids so I added it in.
Want more great ideas for preschool activities? Check out our Build Preschool Thematic Curriculum Units!