Painting a rainbow of flowers : Lois Ehlert style

One thing I love about Lois Ehlert books is her bright and colorful illustrations. Today we read the beautiful children book titled, “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert….

After reading the book, the children worked on their own rainbow flower bouquet using the illustration in Lois Ehlert’s book as our starting place…

We talked about how the flowers represented all the different colors of the rainbow. Then the children set out to use the materials I provided to make their own rainbow flower bouquets…

Each child created their rainbow flower bouquet in a way that interested them. We started by gluing our paper stems in place…

Some of the children criss-crossed their stems like the bouquet in the book. Other children preferred to keep their stems side-by-side…

Then the children added flowers to their stems….

We used round scratchy sponges to paint our flowers but we could have really used any tool for making flowers. These sponges were new to us so we decided to give them a try…

Each bouquet was very different and showed the unique preferences of each young illustrator…

A terrific way to draw attention to the fine details of the illustrations we see in the books we love…

Simple and beautiful…


Available on Amazon…


By |2012-03-12T11:55:02+00:00March 12th, 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. andiejaye March 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    we love her too! our favorite book is “nuts to you!” because we have a squirrel that visits us! paining with scrubbies offers great texture!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      I have that book too! I haven’t read it in quite some time and it is such a fun book!

  2. Marnie @ Carrots are Orange March 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    In LOVE with this activity. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing…

  3. Creative and Curious Kids! March 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    What beautiful bouquets! I enjoy her books as well. 🙂


  4. Bette Vaughan March 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Am going to read this book tomorrow. If I can find white carnations we are going to make a rainbow by putting them in water with food coloring. Then we use potting soil and silk flowers and plant a rainbow over and over.

  5. Carolyn @ Mama's Little Muse March 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    OH! I love this! I just love activities that integrate a book and a craft, and the theme of the month – at our preschool anyway- Spring, and Rainbows! Thank you. I may be forgoing the curriculum in place & choose to do this craft instead. I just LOVE it. Thank you!

  6. Chamaine March 12, 2012 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks for introducing me to this writer! Love the flowers your kids made.

  7. Michelle March 13, 2012 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Oh wow! An author I haven’t come across before. I’m so excited, these look like beautiful books. Deborah, I just love how you create structured activities, but allow the children to explore and create freely, the end result being a variety of individual artworks. It’s so much nicer than 20 cookie-cutter products displayed around the classroom.

  8. [email protected]&Remember March 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Oh neat! I bought these sponges to paint with too!!

  9. PlayDrMom March 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    What fun! My daughter would love this project!

  10. Johanna March 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I am a fan of her books as well. We love the Vegetable Soup one and it’s a great way to get them to eat some veggies. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      You are right – I need to share that book with my kids now that we are headed towards warmer weather and can possibly plant some veggies too!

  11. Julie Locke April 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Hello, Deborah. I would like to refer to this post (and the coordinating Pinterest pin) on my blog tomorrow, as we tried your flower-printing idea at school and loved it. Would that be okay with you? (No copying of text, just a referral and link).

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Of course its okay Julie! Thank you for your kind request and it is my pleasure to be a part of your work in some small way:)

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