Raining Rainbows

Raining Rainbows

Pre-program Activities

Make a “rainbow in a bag.” Place shaving cream in a Ziploc bag. Add 2 drops of food coloring (2 different colors) in each corner of the bag and remove air. Zip bag shut and carefully squish. Bag will pop if air is not removed.


A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman
Skyfire by Frank Asch

Show & Tell

Using a prism, make a rainbow with the sun. Explain that raindrops in the sky are a prism. They make the rainbows we see. Can you have a rainbow without sun? Without rain? (No.) If you have a water hose available, spray the mist into the sunlight. A rainbow will appear.

Song/Activity: Color Game

Give each adult/child team a piece of construction paper and tell them to listen carefully to the instructions in the song.

We can play a color game.
Here’s the colors we can name.
Red, yellow, green, and blue.
There’s orange and brown, and purple, too.

When you hear it, raise it high.
Now hold up yellow
To the sky.
Then hold up the card that’s blue,
Now orange, then brown,
And purple, too.
Now put down the card that’s blue.
Then yellow, red and purple, too.
Now the colors green, orange and brown.
Now all the colors should be down.

Adult/Child Activity

Color Hike
Give each team a bag of crayons and a piece of paper. They are to take the crayons on a color hike. Find one thing with each color of crayon you have. Remind them not to pick, suggest having the adult draw a picture of it instead. When they are done, return their bag of crayons. If they have found all the colors of the rainbow on the color hike, give each child a treasure of “gold” candy coins–the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

Nature’s Palette
Hand out a piece of white paper with an artist’s palette drawn on it. Write the names of all the colors of the rainbow under the circles if you wish. Have each team collect something from nature and rub into a circle. Fill in all the circles. Experiment with grass, leaves, flowers, soil, rocks, nuts, etc. Did they leave the color that you thought they would?


Paint With Watercolors
Provide paint and paper and let them create what they wish.

Coffee Filter Rainbows
Ask the children to color spots with water-soluble markers on a coffee filter. Then spray with water or dip one end in a cup of water. Watch what happens. What happens to black spots? Navy? Orange? Red?


Serve rainbow vanilla cookies or serve individual baggies of Rainbow Squish. To prepare Rainbow Squish, place a couple spoonfuls of prepared gelatin in one corner of baggie. Now add a different color in the other corner. Close baggie, remembering to remove the air inside. Let the tots mix the colors. To eat, cut small hole in corner and squeeze or pour into cups.

Related Activities

  • Read the book Spilt Milk and talk about clouds.
  • Find a rainbow in bubbles.
  • Using clear colored folders or translucent paper, show how yellow and red make orange, yellow and blue make green, red and blue make purple. Line them up to make the rainbow ROY G BIV.
Activities provided by:

Polk County Conservation Board
Ginny Malcomson
Nature Tots is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.

_ 0-1
_ 1-2
_ 2-3
✓ 3-4
_ 4-5
_ 5-6

Category: Adult-Child

1 hour


Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.2, 8.3, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 10.4, 11.1, 11.2, 12.1, 12.4, 13.1, 13.2, 14.3

Related Kindernature Resources: