Chase the Rainbow!
Rainbows have always been a symbol of hope after the storm and captured the imagination of young children. Parents know that rainbows show up in children’s artwork because they make them happy. In all honesty, rainbows make adults happy too. When we sheltered in place, there was a trend to put rainbows in the windows so that when neighbors walked by they were reminded there are better times ahead.
At Mommy University, we always wonder what are the learning opportunities that utilize their love of rainbows. With Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner, you can always incorporate some of these activities into your at-home learning fun. For me, this cold and snowy winter has me thinking about the bright and bold colors of the rainbow so we have compiled activities exploring rainbows!
Taste the Rainbow
I am always encouraging my children to expand their culinary skills and try new foods. This can be easily done with a rainbow tray of fruit!
- Red: Strawberries
- Orange: Oranges
- Yellow: Lemons
- Green: Grapes
- Blue: Blueberries
- Purple: Plums
Another variation is to make a vegetable platter with tomatoes, carrots, squash, spinach, blue potatoes, and eggplant!
Make A Rainbow
Why wait for a storm to pass to find a rainbow? You can make one at home using some easy household items like a cup, water, and a flashlight (if you don’t have direct sunlight). Fill a clear cup of water to the top (avoid cups with any textures or patterns). I recommend putting the glass on a white surface or on a white piece of paper. When the light hits the surface of the water, it will create a mini rainbow. If using a flashlight, you will have to move the light around. When light hits the water it splits up into a rainbow which is a neat exercise for kids. You can also invite them to color the rainbow where they see the different colors.
Rainbow Scavenger Hunt
For little ones, have them chase the rainbow by finding the colors inside the house. You can set up a basket for each color of the rainbow. Each basket should have a piece of construction paper next to it that represents a color of the rainbow. Set a timer and see how many things they can collect in the basket. You can also set up an example of each color using paper or even a balloon, then time your kids to see how fast they can find an item in the house that matches each color. If you have siblings, turn it into a competition. The scavenger hunt possibilities are endless!
Grow a Rainbow
Can your child grow a rainbow? An easy science experiment that brings life in your home is to dye flowers. Pick up white flowers from the florist or food store (I will leave the type flowers up to you). You will also need food dye and containers for the flowers. First, add water to each container. Second, add food color dye to each container filled with water. Next, make a fresh trim on the bottom of the flowers and place them in the container. Over the next few days, have the kids watch to see which flowers change colors. If you have extra flowers, you can also try to add different ratios of dye and water for the same color. Invite the kids to keep a journal of how the flowers change colors each day.
Count it Up!
Math is always easier to understand when you can relate it to items you use every day which is why I love using M&M’s or Skittles to celebrate new math skills my children have learned. The foundational concepts of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) can be easily reinforced with candy. For my kids, we placed the candies on a plate and challenged different math puzzles and they double checked their answers using the sweet manipulatives. When everyone starts to get tired, we let them eat their answers.
Melt the Rainbow
My children love quick science experiments that challenge them to think about cause and effect. A bag of Skittles at the cash register of your local foodstore will not only provide enough for this exercise but also have a few for the kids to snack on while they watch! Find a dessert plate and ask your child to lay the Skittles in a circle around the edge. You can explain to them what will happen and ask what they expect to happen? Pour water over the Skittles. Did the colors blend together? Where did they blend together? Did it make a rainbow? They can also experiment with different patterns with the Skittles.
Craft a Rainbow
Do you want to be a magician? On a white piece of paper draw lines, hearts or whatever you want, and then ask your kids to paint rainbows using watercolors on the paper to reveal the hidden message. Abracadabra! You are now a magician.
Which rainbow activity is your favorite? Put your answer in the comment section below!