Play on the colorful personality of your little preschooler with a lesson on rainbows. Even adults get excited to see a glimpse of a rainbow after the rain and young children especially adore this colorful force of nature. While these youngsters won't understand the whole scientific concept of rainbows, they will still enjoy a range of activities using rainbow colors and learning more about why they occur in our environment.
While looking at a rainbow or image of a rainbow, ask your little one to count up and list the colors she sees. Build on this and set up a color sorting game with the seven colors of the rainbow. Set out either colored paper, cups or trays and invite her to sort colorful objects, such as pom poms or blocks, placing them in the appropriate cup. She might even wow you and create a pattern using colors of the rainbow.
Known for his children's books, Eric Carle has a unique style of blending colors in his popular illustrations. Allow your little artist to practice the style of Carle by collaging colors onto a blank paper, then cutting out shapes that coordinate with color blends. She can also make a rainbow collage with torn paper, gluing balls of colored tissue paper in the shape of a rainbow on a white paper.
After explaining to your little one that rainbows are colors reflected through drops of water when it rains, demonstrate the phenomenon using a garden hose in the yard. As you spray water from the hose, hold it up so the sun will hit the water and create a rainbow. If you want to splurge on prisms, you can hang those in a window with direct sunlight and they will also reflect rainbow colors.
Music and Movement
The children's song, "The World is a Rainbow," encourages preschoolers to celebrate diversity. Sing this song together and paint a circle shape with rainbow colors to represent a world full of color. For a fun movement game, spread out rainbow-colored papers on the floor and ask your little one to jump to certain colors when you call out an object of that color. She will jump to red when you say tomato, showing that she not only recognizes colors, but also associates objects with their appropriate shades.