Rainbow Theme and Activities

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March is a great time to learn about rainbows! St. Patrick's Day includes the symbol of the rainbow for finding the pot of gold. March is also a good time to do a theme on weather, rain and rainbows.

Preschool rainbow theme

Rainbow Songs and Fingerplays

Rainbow Song (Tune: Hush, Little Baby)
Rainbow purple
Rainbow blue
Rainbow green
And yellow too
Rainbow orange
Rainbow red
Rainbow shining overhead.
Come and count
The colors with me
How many colors
Can you see?
1 - 2 - 3 on down to green
4 - 5 - 6 colors can be seen!
Rainbow purple
Rainbow blue
Rainbow green
And yellow too
Rainbow orange
Rainbow red
Rainbow shining overhead.

Oh Rainbow (Tune: Tune: O Christmas Tree)
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.
Purple, red and orange, too,
Yellow, green and blue so true.
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.

Beautiful Rainbow
One day the sun was shining bright, (hold up your right hand like blocking sunlight)
But some clouds came along and it became black as night. (hold up left hand for the clouds)
Then the rain began to sprinkle onto the ground, (wiggle fingers for the rain coming down)
And soon it was raining all over the town. (continue to wiggle fingers for the rain coming down)
But when the clouds had passed on by, (move both hands to one side)
A big beautiful rainbow stretched across the sky (make a rainbow arc with your hands)

Rainbow Art

Handprint Rainbow
Paint the children's hands the colors of the rainbow and have them paint a class rainbow by pressing their hands on butcher paper

Rainbow Viewer
Cut out a large circle in the middle of 2 paper plates. Glue colored cellophane to cover the hole on one plate, and then glue the two plates together. Try different colors overlapped too.

Paper Plate Rainbow
Cut paper plates in half and give each child a half. Provide tissue paper of each color of the rainbow. Allow them to create torn paper rainbows.

Fruit Loop Rainbow
Have children create rainbows by gluing fruit loops in arches on construction paper. Use cotton balls to add clouds.

Rainbow Math and Science

Skittle Math
Have a jar filled with Skittles. Let children estimate how many Skittles they think are in the jar. Sort and make patterns with the Skittles.

Make a Rainbow
Cover the end of a flashlight in painters tape leaving only a slit, for light to shine through. Place a handheld mirror in a bowl of water. Shine the light onto the mirror through the water. Hold a white piece of paper to catch the reflection and it will look like a rainbow.

Rolling Rainbows
Fill clear plastic soda bottles with water and put mosaic tiles in them. Allow children to roll the bottles and watch the rainbow colors swirl.

Rainbow Rice
Dye white rice to create rice of each color of the rainbow. Mix all rice together and add to the sensory table.

Rainbow Magic
Needed: Whole milk, Food coloring, Clear bowl or pie plate, Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (blue).

Pour the milk in the bottom of the dish enough to cover the bottom. Add a few drops of food coloring randomly. Put a drop of Dawn on each color or on the side of the dish near each color. Watch! Although you cannot see it, milk contains fat that do not mix with the watery food coloring. Whenever the dishwashing liquid touches the milk, it breaks up the fat which then spreads out. This allows the food color and milk to mix. It will continue on for quite a while. The children can leave and come back and it still will be in motion. The children will find this amazing & some children will watch for a long time. (Be sure to use BLUE Dawn Dishwashing Liquid).

Rainbow Movement Activities

Rainbow Streamer Dance
Attach streamers in rainbow colors to paper plates and give a plate to each child. Play the music "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" or The Rainbow Colors Song and have the children dance and move their rainbow paper plates to the beat of the music.

Rainbow Snacks

Rainbow Jell-O
Make a batch of 3 or 4 flavored Jellos. Use flavors that have different colors. (cherry red, purple grape) pour into a glass mold or clear containers. Pour in one flavor at a time and let set a bit before adding next flavor.

Rainbow Toast
Set out small cups of milk. Add a drop or two of food coloring to each color. Children then paint white bread with colored milk using clean brushes or Q-tips. Set under a broiler to toast.

Rainbow Fruit Loop Necklace
Give each child a small pile of Fruit Loop cereal. Have the children sort the colors, then string them on a yarn necklace to wear and eat during the day.

Read About Rainbows

  • Let's Paint a Rainbow by Eric Carle
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown

More Rainbow Resources