• Vicki Manning

Our favourite rainbow activities


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fun rainbow activities for kids

We love rainbows! All three of my boys were rainbow babies (born after a pregnancy loss) so rainbows hold a special significance in our house.


If like us you are obsessed with all things rainbow then you will love our favourite rainbow-themed arts, crafts and learning activities as they're simple to set up and create, plus most of them use everyday things you'll find around the home.


So if you're looking for a colourful way to play, learn or create, then read on!


All of these activities are suitable for age 2+ (under supervision) and they're a great way to develop fine motor skills and learn colours as well as have some fun!


Rainbow buttons posting activity for children

Button posting


You will need:


Buttons in red, orang, yellow, green, blue and purple

Small shoe box (or similar sized box with a lid)

Acrylic paints

Craft knife

Take your box and paint a rainbow across the top. Once dried, cut holes big enough for the buttons.


Invite your child to put the coloured buttons in the holes - you can encourage colour-sorting, but younger children will just enjoy posting the buttons. I like to name the colour out loud each time they do it as this helps build vocabulary.


When they're finished posting all the buttons you can take the lid off and tip them out to start again!


paintbrush and rainbow watercolour pencils

Watercolour rainbow


You will need:


Watercolour pencils (we love the colour grip pencils by Faber Castell as they are really vibrant colours)

Thick paper or card

Paintbrush

Water


Start by scribbling a rough rainbow onto your paper. Older children might want to do this themselves.


Orange pencil scribbling rainbow

Dip your paintbrush in water and paint along the lines from left to right so that your solid rainbow magically appears. As the pencil lines are watercolour, they will gradually blend and mix to create a beautiful rainbow.


paintbrush and rainbow watercolour pencils

If you want to blend the colours more, you can work from top to bottom. You can also try using different materials and see what results you get - washable felt tips, chalk pastels and paint sticks also work really well.


Rorschach style rainbows created with paint

String painting


You will need:


String

Scissors

Acrylic paints

A4 paper

Large book


Paint, scissors, string and paper

Fold your A4 paper in half widthways. You'll want to use relatively thick paper for this so that the paint doesn't bleed through.


Cut some string, slightly wider than the sheet of paper, and lay it across the centre.


Squirt on blobs of paint in a row. We have made ours into a rainbow but you can use any colours you like.


Fold the paper over and place it carefully inside your book and close it.


Carefully gather then ends and slowly pull out the string. The string will have scraped the paint into a brilliant pattern. We love this activity as the results are different every time.


Rainbow collage made of paper, ribbons, buttons, stickers

Rainbow mixed-media collage


You will need:


Cardboard

Pencil

Scissors

Scraps of material, felt or ribbon

Multi coloured paper

Anything colourful you want to add e.g. buttons, straws and sequins

PVA glue


Start by drawing a rainbow shape on the cardboard - the easiest way to do this is by drawing around a plate for the larger semi circle and a cup for the smaller semi circle.


Cut your rainbow shape out and draw 5 equal lines to separate the rainbow shape into six.


Start filling them with each colour - purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red - think about laying different textures for a smart finish. We found ribbon is really good for bending around the shape, and used lots of buttons and stickers on top to add texture.


Looking for something a bit simpler? Try our scrunched tissue rainbow.



Montessori colour tablets with matching flowers

Rainbow scavenger hunt


You will need:


Something to match colours to, e.g. Montessori colour tablets (pictured)


This game can be played indoors or out - just go on a hunt to find things in certain colours.


We love to do our colour hunts outside and find natural objects or flowers to match, it's a great way to get a bit of fresh air and exercise! If you want to do it indoors, you can hunt for matching toys, books etc.


You don't need colour tablets to match your objects to; try using colour swatches, pieces of coloured paper, or even just the colours scribbled on a sheet of A4 with pens.


Rainbow powder on a tray

Fizzy rainbow


You will need:


Tray

Bicarbonate of soda

Chalk in various colours

Grater

White wine vinegar

Chunky droppers or pipettes


Take your chalk and grate it into a separate pot for each colour - you will need around half a large piece of chalk for each.


Stir in roughly equal quantities of bicarbonate of soda to each one and mix thoroughly to create a coloured powder.


Spread on a deep-sided tray, one colour at a time, in rainbow order.


Child's pipette making rainbow powder fizz

Give your child some vinegar in a bowl (not too much to avoid spills), add a pipette and let them go to town with squeezing, fizzing and mixing the colourful mess.


Child-s hand in rainbow coloured wet mess

This is sensory heaven and most children will want to get their hands in. It's absolutely fine as the vinegar is a weak acid and not harmful, however if your child has sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema this is something I would avoid.


Rainbow on paper made with dot markers

Dot marker rainbows


You will need:


Dot markers or bingo pens

White paper

Felt tip pens

Use your felt tip pens to draw lines to make a rainbow - you can either do this freehand or draw round objects like I did (I used plates and cups).


Invite your child to use their dot markers to trace the lines. This is a great one for developing fine motor skills and improving pencil grip. It doesn't matter how neat the dots are, it will look pretty any way.


Childs hand, rainbow paper and scissors

Rainbow cutting


You will need:


Coloured paper

Marker pen

Child-safe scissors


Cut rectangles from some red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple paper. I cut across the width of an A4 sheet of paper as it is easier.


Use your marker pen to draw different lines, some straight, spikey, wiggly etc. You can have fun with this, but bear in mind the scissor skills of your child so you don't make it too tricky.


Encourage your child to cut along the lines for a fun way to practice scissor skills. If they have trouble with scissor hold, I find it helps drawing a smiley face on their thumb to encourage keeping the thumb upright. 😁


Rainbow made from pipecleaners and pony beads

Pipecleaner threading


You will need:


Pipecleaners in rainbow colours

Pony beads to match


Threading pony beads onto pipecleaners is a fantastic way to refine your little one's fine motor skills. It's surprisingly easy due to the metal centre of the pipecleaners.


For this activity we threaded pony beads in rainbow colours. When you've done all six colours, make a rainbow and twist the ends together to secure. Or pull the beads off and practice fine motor skills some more.


If you want to keep your rainbow, tie some ribbon on and it makes a lovely wall hanging!


Getting creative with your kids


Painting ice process art


12 puzzles you can DIY


Zero-spend bored jars



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