Rainbows! Incredible Weather

Rainbows are so cool! And you feel so lucky when you see one that you feel like God himself is reminding you how wonderful life can be. Let's learn all about them, how they are formed, how we can make them ourselves, and even create some amazing rainbow art!


"A Rainbow is an arch of colors formed by the refraction and dispersion of the sun's light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere."

What does that mean? It means that when water droplets (tiny water drops) are in the air and sunlight shines on them just right, a rainbow will appear.

We call them rainbows because they form after (or sometimes during) rain showers. But we can see them at many other times as well. You can see them in the spray at the bottom of a waterfall, in ocean spray, in special types of clouds and even in your sprinkler in your yard!

When have YOU seen a rainbow? What kind was it?


Making Rainbows

Materials Needed:
A Glass of Water (glass is important!)
White Paper
Sunshine (no artificial light)

Stand close to a sunny window or outside. Hold the glass of water above the paper and aim it so that the sunshine will pass through the glass and onto the paper. As the sunshine passes through the glass of water, the light will refract or bend and separate the colors onto your paper.

What colors do you see?

What do you think will happen if you hold the glass farther above the paper? Test your theory. What if you hold it closer to the paper? Will this work the same way if you use a clear plastic cup? Why? Will it work the same way if you use a flashlight instead of sunlight? Test out all your ideas to see what happens!


Color Counting

Materials Needed:
Box of Fruit Loops or other rainbow colored circle cereal
Rainbow Template (HERE)
Chalkboard, Whiteboard or other Large Surface to Write On

The idea of this is to work with colors, counting and following directions. Write on the board so the children can see:

RED = 16
BLUE = 3

Explain that they should count out the amount of each color and then glue them to the correct rows. This will require that they
1.  follow directions well
2.  count well
3.  understand colors well

They will need to be able to figure out which row should be red (the row with 16 circles in it), and so forth. Be available to help, but don't give them the answers! Help them to work out which color goes where on their own.

**For younger kiddos - use markers to outline the circles in the proper colors and provide only the correct number of cereal per color. Once they have glued all their pieces you can all count them together as practice!


Why Did God Make Rainbows?

Print out and make the booklet from Ministry to Children HERE. This is an abbreviated version of the story of Noah. You can also read Genesis 6:9-11,14,17-19, 21-22 & 7:1,4-5 & 8:6-12,15-17,20 & 9:17.

Rainbows are God's promise that he will never again flood the earth.

There is a whole lesson you can do on this topic at Ministry to Children http://ministry-to-children.com/noah-preschool-bible-lesson/



Torn Tissue Paper Rainbows

Materials Needed:
Rainbow of colors tissue paper
Rainbow Template  Use the first one with the colors on it!

Allow the kids to tear the tissue paper into small pieces. Then glue them onto the template. If you use the one with the colors printed on it, this will be a reading lesson as well!

Hang these around the room and brighten it up!


Milk Rainbows

(This is really a science experiment, but I think the result is so pretty that I am calling it art)

Materials Needed:
Red, blue and yellow food color
Dish soap (dawn works well)
Shallow bowls (you can use small aluminum pie tins)

Pour 1 cup of milk in each bowl. Squeeze 1 drop of each color of food color on the edge of the bowl in the milk. Squeeze a drop of dish soap in the center of the milk. Watch what happens! You can use the Q-tips to swirl it around and make a unique piece of artwork.

You can't keep this art, but the same can be said for people who make sand castles and ice sculptures, right?


"A small boy imagines what it would be like to have his own rainbow to play with."

"Everyone knows rainbows look magical, but how do they work?
You'll find out when you join the Rainbow Patrol. Rainbow expert Roy G. Biv will guide you back in time to learn the importance of rainbows in ancient cultures. You'll go inside a raindrop to discover how light bends to create the rainbow's dazzling colors. Finally, you'll return home and learn how to make your own rainbow!
You'll become a real rainbow expert as noted astronomer E.C. Krupp and artist Robin Rector Krupp combine fascinating facts with dazzling illustrations to reveal the secrets of the rainbow. The creators of The Big Dipper and You bring their celestial know-how a little closer to earth in this entertaining introduction to our most colorful natural wonder."



Rainbow Playdough

This is as simple as it sounds! Let them make rainbows using rainbow colored playdough. You could also provide a template. You could even use a rainbow cookie cutter! Have fun with this.


Target Practice

Let's get them moving, shall we? Get some balloons in a rainbow of colors. Dollar stores are a great place to get cheap balloons. You can get them filled with helium OR you can hang them from the ceiling. This will work either way! You will also need some small bean bags (which you can make using old socks and beans) and a LOT of room.

Try to spread out the colors of balloons around the room. Give each kid 1 bean bag and tell them they need to listen to directions. You are going to call out a color and they should try to hit a balloon in that color.

Be prepared! This is going to be crazy. But it will be super fun!


Rainbow Song
(from preschooleducation.com)
Sung to "Mary Had A Little Lamb"

Rainbow over the waterfall,
waterfall, waterfall,
Rainbow over the waterfall,
Rainbow over the tree.

Rainbow over the mountain
mountain, mountain,
Rainbow over them mountain,
Rainbow over the sea.

Rainbow over the flowers,
flowers, flowers,
Rainbow over the flowers,
rainbow over the bee

Rainbow over the dancers
dancers, dancers,
Rainbow over the dancers,
Rainbow over me!!


Rainbow Skewers

(depending on where you are and what season it is, it can be tough finding all the fruit. you can try to use frozen fruits if necessary)

Red fruit (strawberries, cherries, watermelon)
Orange fruit (oranges, mangos, apricots)
Yellow fruits (lemons, pineapple, yellow apple)
Green fruits (grapes, limes, kiwis)
Blue fruits (blueberries, ??)
Purple fruits (plumbs, blackberries, purple grapes)

Pick 1 or 2 from each color. Wash and cut into small pieces. Provide a long skewer for the kids. Have them create their own fruit rainbow using the fruits!

You can dip them in vanilla Greek yogurt too!


  1. I'm really excited to use some of these activities with my 5 year old! His attention span changes quickly so finding ideas to add to the day is always PERFECT! I'm planning on using this unit and your ideas as a basis for my own blog post at samihearn1.blogspot.com and I hope you will check it out and see some changes I have made to help my child with disabilities to still stay engaged!

    1. That is awesome! I really hope these activities work out for you. I would love to hear how they go!