Rainbow sponge painting

We have been exploring weather words in prek with our Weather Word Wall Art (which I shared with you here and here )…

In addition to the words “sun, cloud, and rain” we also added the word “rainbow”…

The pre-k children printed or traced the word “rainbow” on their paper first then it was time to get busy sponge painting a rainbow. First they squeezed a line of each color of paint on their sponges…

Once they had all the colors of paint on their sponges, they picked up the sponges and began to paint their rainbows…

The children swiped the sponges across their paper to create the rainbow…

The swiping motion can be a bit tricky for the children to understand, but they weren’t worried about creating perfect rainbows at this point. They were totally loving being able to paint with all those colors at one time…

Of course, swiping the sponge across the paper only one time wouldn’t be all that fun so the children added more paint and then swiped some more…

In the end, our rainbows still looked like rainbows for the most part…

Every rainbow began to take on its own unique style and look since each child had their own approach towards swiping the sponge across the page…

And after awhile, some of the children decided it might be quicker to add two colors of paint at a time to the sponge…

In the end, this process did not go exactly like I had thought it would. Instead, the children added their own preferences along the way but I am happy to report that the children enjoyed every minute of it…

And happy to report that our rainbows turned out quite lovely…

And quite unique!


Links to Grow on…

See others who have shared this activity over at….

Rainbow Sponge painting from Strong Start

Rainbow Sponge painting from Hands on: As we grow!

This post was featured by….

Books about weather

Rainbow Books


Squeeze Bottles

I purchased my squeeze bottles from Walmart. They are located in the kitchen utensil section of the store here where I live. But you can also buy Squeeze Bottles from Amazon.

Rainbow Linky


<a href=”https://theoutlawmom.com/2012/04/24/play-best-of-kids-rainbow-art-eats-activities-blog-hop/” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://theoutlawmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/the-best-kids-rainbow-art-eats-activities-button.jpg” alt=”https://theoutlawmom.com/2012/04/24/play-best-of-kids-rainbow-art-eats-activities-blog-hop/” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>


By |2012-03-04T12:00:07+00:00March 4th, 2012|

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. Jamie @ hands on : as we grow March 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Lovely! 🙂 I love how different such a ‘strict’ art process can turn out with different kids.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Everyone interprets an art process in their own way for sure:) I am not quite sure what you mean by “strict” but I agree – it is fun to see different ways children can try this!

  2. Tiffanie March 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    I am curious about where you bought your containers? I have been looking for these for some time and have not found any with the caps as well. Thank you for all the great ideas that you offer on your site for us!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Tiffanie,
      I get the paint bottles from Walmart. You can find them in the Kitchen Utensil section of the store:)

  3. Amanda March 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    hi 😉 I’m a “greenhorn” teacher. Classroom management is something I’ve gotten better at over time, but 2’s still are a difficult age to “reel in”. I’ve have many days where I am lucky that half the class even wants to do a craft (no matter how fun or excited I am about it – when presenting to them), while the other half of the class attempts to run off with the craft supplies in hand. How do you structure craft/art time, and do you have 1-2 adult helpers? I really have scaled back my arts & crafts activities, which makes me sad for the one’s that really could do more. Any advice on tips & techniques on structure of craft time. ~Thx, Am 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Hmmmm, this one will take some time for me to answer carefully. Let me sleep on it tonight:)

      • Sheryl @Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds March 6, 2012 at 1:30 am

        Am – I hope it’s okay that I jump in here. I also teach 2’s with 2 teachers. At the beginning of the year we do have children who start to run off with some of the tools, so we watch it carefully so we can show them how they stay at the art table. We remove the chairs from the table so it’s easier for them to walk up and sample some painting, for example, and come back later. Often we start the year with one large piece of paper, so it’s more of a community piece, so everyone can come and go as they please. I don’t expect all the children to participate. Some simply are not interested at that time. By now I have a good feel for what interests my 2’s, so I am trying to create art activities that involve those interests – squeeze glue is a huge hit. I wouldn’t have done this 4 months ago, but now they are ready. Just keep modeling how you want them to use the tools, but also allow enough flexibility so they don’t feel “stifled”. Hope this helps! (Thanks, Deborah, for letting me jump in here. Hope it was okay!)

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 6, 2012 at 2:03 am

        I greatly appreciate you jumping in here Sheryl – I just haven’t had time yet to offer a thoughtful answer yet and your answer is right on the spot!! Thank you so much!

      • Amanda March 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

        Thanks so much for the reply and suggestions, it made me feel better knowing that I had made some of those decisions too 🙂

        I very quickly noticed that chairs can be a trip hazard when centers activities are placed on a table (they move freely from one center to another during our morning center time). On the flip side, I have actually found it easier to have everyone seated at the table to paint w/each wearing smocks – ALL painting at the same time (sometimes I cover the table w/paper as well – for post craft painting – this way the “fast” painters can have something to do, while the “slow” painters work on their masterpieces ). The rotating to paint 2 at a time at an easel would drive some of the “energetic” kids crazy the waiting… which is why I forgoe that to sitting down to paint.

        Funny that you say that about waiting until maturity level appears, I did notice that and made some changes after Christmas break. After Christmas Break I’ve started focusing on: lots of fine motor skills activities, process/multiple steps crafts, introduced new toys, and we paint often.

        This is my “greenhorn” 1st year teaching, so far I’ve loved it. Attending to special needs of certain children has been a challenge, but feel great at what we’ve accomplished thus far with those children.

        Sensory exposure to foods and other textures is still something I haven’t explored much – and i am working on ways to incorporate this while closely supervising this activity – which is crucial for many of the children in this class who like to put items in their mouths (i.e.- wet paper towel wads). I typically have #9 to #13, 2 year olds on each day, with one teacher’s aide/2nd teacher.

        It goes without saying that every child is very different developmentally, so my biggest stumbling block I have found is finding ways for those who don’t want to participate at all when it comes to activities or crafts, THEN up to finding more challenging activities for those that can complete an activity/craft before I can finish handing out all the materials to the class.
        ~Thx, Am:-)

  4. Thank you, Deborah! We did this today on the easel and they LOVED it. One boy in particular did about 5 of them. I will do a blog about it this week.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 6, 2012 at 2:02 am - Reply

      I can’t wait to see! Love the idea of doing it on the easel!

  5. Hazel March 6, 2012 at 1:41 am - Reply

    May I ask, were the sponges wet or dry?

    Brilliant idea! I want to try this with my group, I’m always looking for new ideas to extend our spring theme.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 6, 2012 at 2:01 am - Reply

      Sure you may:) They were dry!

  6. ashley wolff March 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    So much fun! They did turn out beautifully. I have a new book out: Baby bear Sees Blue, with a lovely rainbow ending. You might want to add it to your collection. Check it out on FB here:https://www.facebook.com/BabyBearsWorld

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ashley!

  7. This is gorgeous!

  8. Jessica April 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    I stumbled upon your page last week as I was Googling photos of preschool classrooms. I found idea after idea that I am excited to use @ my preschool. Thanks for passing along your creativity!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      I am so glad you found me!

  9. Melanie April 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    This is such a great idea. Very simple, but effective and those rainbows are beautiful!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you for stopping by Melanie!

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok