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Make a Rainbow

Rainbows are pure magic for kids! They are also a most special, positive symbol for many people and can be used to express happiness, hope and the beautiful diversity among people and within our natural world. If the rainbow has special, sacred meaning to you, we honor that. As featured in our June Activity Calendar, we share this sweet way for kids to discover and create a rainbow using the colors they find in nature. If you do not yet have your free copy of the June Activity Calendar, get it here.

The Guide

Step 1: Enjoy a Story. Read a story together about rainbows (or look at photos of rainbows together). Some of our favorites stories featuring rainbows are the telling of "The Horse of a Different Color" on the Circle Round storytelling podcast and Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • In honor of Pride Month, we also recommend the book Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart, which explains the meaning of each stripe in the Pride rainbow (a great way to make the connection between the many colors of the rainbow and the beautiful diversity within people and families).

Step 2: Invite Exploration. Wonder, "Do you think we can make a rainbow out in the yard/park/your favorite outdoor space?" Decide it's worth a try, pack a snack and head outside. You can bring pretend binoculars (or real ones), a magnifying glass or just your senses (your most important tools!).
Step 3: Hunt for Color. Once outside, look for things that your child (and you!) think are beautiful and special to behold. Look for colors that you love. Try to make a rainbow out of the objects you find in your space. Look high, low, far and near. If sight is a challenge, you can use other senses to smell, listen or feel for beauty, too. 

Step 4: Create. If you like, create something using the treasures you see or gather. You may simply use a phone or other device with a camera to take photos of what you find beautiful—a lovely way to make memories and leave no trace. You can also use contact paper or double-sided tape on sturdy paper to make a beautiful collage, nature crown or sun catcher. Use cardboard and rubber bands to weave your nature treasures. Rub the colorful treasures you collect on light colored stone, paper or fabric to make art as well.
Step 5: Share and give. Make a difference in someone's day by sharing the images or actual creations with that person. Let them know that you were thinking of them and that you hope these colorful treasures or rainbow creation from nature fills their bucket with happiness. Include a wish, too, for them to have a great day, a happy spring or whatever pops into your child's mind. Wonder with kids who might really enjoy (or even need) a boost. Ask kids, "How do you think this will make them feel?" and then enjoy every bit of giving and finding out.

Share your rainbows with us by tagging @tinkergarten, too! We'd love to celebrate hope, love and the beautiful diversity of nature with you!

Why is this activity great for kids?

Searching for colors of the rainbow in nature easily inspires kids to remember and experience, first hand, how colorful and beautiful our natural world really is. Noticing the variety of colors in nature is also a great jumping off point to talk with kids about the beautiful diversity in our world. Searching for colorful, beautiful objects also gives kids' sensory systems a perfect workout! Then, when we share whatever we discover or create with someone, we spread joy and take part in a genuine act of kindness. That practice of thinking of someone else and caring for them through such acts supports strong empathy development, too (and it just feels so good!).

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