Paper rainbows and the ten second rule

I hope you like rainbows because I really do love them.

With St. Patrick’s Day and spring weather just around the corner, I have rainbows on the brain for almost an entire month!  Today our rainbow activity included a little paper rainbow sorting and designing.

Each child started by selecting paper strips.

They needed to sort through all the colors until they were able to find each color of the rainbow.

Once the children found each color of the rainbow, they spread the paper strips out on their paper in rainbow color order. As the children spread out their strips, they sang a simple rainbow song that was taught to the entire class by one of my students (he learned it at home and taught it to us).

The 10 second rule

Once the children had their strips selected and sorted in rainbow order, I showed them how to glue the ends of each strip to their paper leaving the paper arched in the middle and using the 10 second rule.

The 10 second rule is to remember that once you add glue to each end of your paper strip then you press and hold your fingers on both ends of the paper for 10 seconds (counting the seconds out loud) so the paper will stay on the glue and not pop up.


We had lots of out loud counting going on all at the same time.  Some children even counted well past the number 10 to make doubly sure the ends of their paper stayed firmly in place.

And the children took the liberty to glue their rainbow colored strips anywhere and any way they wanted on their paper.

Some of arches went over and under each other.

The children worked on this for some time and the creative rainbow designs were quite beautiful and quite elaborate.

I wasn’t sure if some of these would stand up but they did quite well. The children were patient and worked like little “engineers” creating their own rainbow towers.

A couple of things I want to mention to help you know why these kids are so incredible at this process:

  1. The children doing this activity are in Pre-Kindergarten
  2. The children have constructed with paper strips before so this wasn’t their first experience with the 10 second rule or creating 3D paper strip structures.
  3. You can also create simple rainbow paintings with cardboard strips.

Links to Grow On

If you are looking for more rainbow ideas you can see the rainbow links I have saved on Pinterest!

Rainbow books from Amazon



Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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