A rainbow of my very own in preschool

I love the book, “A Rainbow of My Own” by Don Freeman and today we enjoyed this book and then I had the opportunity to observe the children making tissue paper rainbows…


To make their rainbows, the children started by brushing liquid starch on a sheet of white drawing paper…

I have to say that even though I want to promote letting children do their art any way they wish – I still find myself wanting to give them guidance or advice. I really have to work hard at keeping my ideas on what they should or should not do as they create to myself…

The children then placed tissue paper scraps on top of the liquid starch to create their rainbows. As the children worked on their tissue paper rainbows, I found myself being inspired by their teacher. The teacher was handing out pieces of tissue paper to work with and as she handed out the paper, one child immediately stuck the entire piece of tissue paper to his paper instead of tearing it into small pieces.

My first reaction was to remind the child that he was supposed tear the tissue paper into smaller pieces first but since I was their to observe, not instruct, I waited for the teacher to say something – but she never did!

The other children at the table were tearing their paper and creating their rainbows as I expected them to do. They were making arches and tearing tissue paper into little pieces to attach to each arch. But this little boy continued to add liquid starch on top of the tissue paper pieces and add one large piece of tissue paper on top of the other…

The teacher continued to hand out tissue paper and the children continued to create. Everyone took their time and talked while they created. All the children were focused on creating their very own rainbows. Some were small…

Some were in long straight rows…

Some were large and well arched…

And then there was the one rainbow that really stood out. Because the teacher didn’t interfere with his choice of how to make the rainbow – he ended up with a wonderful and colorful rainbow collage

And yes, he put that entire piece of purple tissue paper across the very top! I so wanted to stop him or say something but it was his rainbow! Then I realized that it was actually quite lovely. It was original, expressive, personal, and made with purposeful decision making. He certainly was aware that the other children were tearing the tissue paper. He was aware that the other children had made one arch of the rainbow at a time but he had his own plan and stuck with it…

I thought about this rainbow after I left for the day and was thankful that I kept my opinions to myself. I was glad that I did not say “You need to tear that paper into smaller pieces!”

I was impressed that the teacher never blinked an eye as this child created his rainbow. Instead, the teacher let each child create a rainbow in his or her own unique way…

Rainbow books available on Amazon…



By |2011-03-18T23:45:30+00:00March 18th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. [email protected] March 19, 2011 at 7:56 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for reminding me about this book! This project turned out so well.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 19, 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

      You are welcome:)

  2. Matt March 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Rainbows make me happy 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 9:04 am - Reply

      Haha – me too!

  3. Gisela K. March 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    It is more important to handle the tools to make a very own and unique artistic piece than the teaching itself.
    We,teachers,are so used to put own”mark” on the children that it is really hard to let them be…
    Well done teacher!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 9:04 am - Reply

      We do tend to want to place our own “mark” on children’s creativity – something to think about!

  4. Scott March 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Kids always seem to create in ways I would never expect or think of myself.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 9:03 am - Reply

      They certainly do!

  5. Briana March 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I love your blog! Thanks for such great resources. Come visit us sometime!


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 9:03 am - Reply

      I will stop by today!

  6. Launa March 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    You gave me a lot to think about here, Deborah. You’re right, his piece is beautiful, too. I haven’t read that book yet–I’m eager to check it out. Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 20, 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

      Thank you Launa:) Your nap time post gave me a lot to think about too!

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