Rainbow colors on the sticky easel

It is always fun to change up the easel and so for a little change, I created a sticky easel for a little rainbow color exploration…

I covered the easel with clear contact paper (sticky side out). To hold the contact paper firmly in place on the easel, I used clear packing tape so the sticky paper wouldn’t move around while the children played…

I had quite a few colorful strips of construction paper left over from our Paper Rainbows we did the day before so I decided this would be a good way to put them to good use…

In my mind, I pictured the children using the strips to make rainbows or houses or something recognizable but since this was a first experience with the sticky easel, all the children wanted to do for the most part was cover the easel with as many strips as they could…

I just let the children have at it. They would cover every single open spot they could find with a paper strip – looking carefully for white spaces and adding another strip until they couldn’t add any more with out them falling off or until they had every single strip of paper attached somewhere on the easel…

During different times of the day, I would invite some of the children to help me take all the strips off the easel so it would be ready to start again….

The children stopped by the sticky easel at various time throughout the day. I later moved the paper strips from the cups to a tray because it was quicker to toss them on a tray then sort them in the cups between each use…

The children enjoyed the sticky easel and I loved looking over at it from across the room and seeing a bright collage of rainbow colors all over the board…

We also tried adding rainbow colors of yarn!…

Super simple with lots of potential fun ways to change up the easel!

Rainbow books from Amazon…



By |2012-03-08T21:42:27+00:00March 8th, 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. stephanie a. March 9, 2012 at 12:44 am - Reply

    those look great! as soon as i saw that first picture i was going to comment “had to figure out what to do with all of those rainbow arc strips from yesterday, huh deb?!?” LOL. i am always cutting to many pieces for art activities.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      I always overdoing the pieces too Stephanie! I guess I rather have too much than to little out:)

  2. Ann March 9, 2012 at 5:46 am - Reply

    I am hosting a workshop on playbased learning as part of my graduate class. I was hoping to get some ideas for activities for the parents to do to help them get a hands on idea of what exactly playbased learning is. Do you have any ideas?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      I will send you an email Ann with some thought on this for you!

  3. Scott March 9, 2012 at 9:06 am - Reply

    My previous suspicions have been confirmed. You are a genius.

  4. Teacher Tom March 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I love reading the writing that is coming out of your classroom. It’s fantastic to see the children taking the lead, both here and in the post about the boy building with blocks on the sticky easel. It seems like you’re having a blast!

  5. Bronwen Abela March 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    You are a wonderful inspiration Deborah! Just when I thought I have run out of ideas, you come up with something that is amazing for all my kids in my class. Thank you so much, your emails are read daily and have an influence on so many of my lessons! B

  6. Julie March 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    This is such a great idea. I am going to try it on our glass door, since I no longer have an easel (took up too much space). And I always have a pile of strips and scraps of paper next to my paper cutter from various projects. I knew I was saving those for something! Thanks, Deborah!

  7. Carolyn @ Mama's Little Muse March 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Love it!

  8. Jessica March 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Hi, i was wondering what kind of “sticky paper” you used. It lo0ks a lot wider than the traditional contact paper we have at school. Also, how did you get it to stick to the easel without it ripping off each time a child pulled a block/paper strip off?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Jessica – it is just regular clear contact paper – not a special size but I did notice they make different size rolls – mine is about 18″ wide. I also used packing tape to tape the sides and the top and bottom of the paper to the easel so it would stay put!

  9. Carolyn @ Mama's Little Muse March 13, 2012 at 2:58 am - Reply

    Hi, I just think this is so wonderful. I will have to try something like this on the easel at the preschool that I teach at! Today, however, I tried out my own rendition at my house with my son…Thank you for the inspiration. You can read about our experience here: http://mamaslittlemuse.blogspot.com/2012/03/this-activity-was-inspired-in-part-by.html

    I really love your website! So many incredible ideas!

  10. cassie l. March 14, 2012 at 4:21 am - Reply

    how did the strips of paper keep coming off so cleanly? thanks!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      I think it is because we use a high quality construction paper. A thinner construction paper would have probably stuck on for good!

      • Viki March 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm

        Where do you get really good construction paper? If it’s not at Walmart or Target, I don’t know where to find it. TIA

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 1:15 am

        I get mine from United Art and Education – we have a store near by that I go and shop for art all sorts of educational supplies. You can see if their are any art supply or education supply stores in your area. Or it is possible to order online but possibly more expensive because of shipping. Here is the link to United Art: http://www.unitednow.com/

        You want to look at the weight of the paper – the light the weight, the cheaper or poorer the quality of the paper

  11. Bron March 14, 2012 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Thanks for the inspiration…we made a sticky wall at playgroup and the kids had so much fun….a little messier than yours though. x

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

      Haha – Messy is good!

  12. Heather April 5, 2012 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Genius!! I always love finding ways to change up our art easel. This will be SO much fun! Thank you for sharing!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Isn’t it fun Heather? I am still trying to come up with refreshing new ideas for our easel to keep it fun and open ended but yet still take the children’s art work to a higher level!

  13. amber May 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    oh my you are the smartest. I have a roll of contact paper I’ve been trying to find a use for. Perfect fun. Thank you!

  14. sue fromm August 5, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    This would be a great way to use those rolls of contact paper with outdated designs too, especially for the block sticking version or other activities that would not be viewed through light source.

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