The 4 R’s: reading, writing, arithmetic, and rainbows

The things you can do with rainbows really are endless. The prek children have been working on color words and we expanded our rainbow unit to cover reading, writing, and arithmetic…

Rainbow Reading

The prek children made this simple color word book to review their color words…

The goal of this process was to gather the colors of construction paper needed…

Organize the paper by color and size and then staple the paper to make a rainbow color word book….

Once the children completed their books, they used the color word cards to write each color word on the corresponding page of the color word book….

There will be other things we will do with our color word books later but for today, the goal was just to get them made….

Rainbow Writing

For writing practice, the children practiced writing in Styrofoam trays filled with a rainbow array of colors…

We did this process on several days and each time, we changed it up a bit but the basic idea is to start with a rainbow, made with lines of paint, on the Styrofoam tray….

Then use a tool (like a craft stick) to spread the paint across the tray…

Then use a tool (like a Q-tip or your finger) for writing on the rainbow colors of paint…

Then use another tool (like a cotton ball or craft stick) to wipe the lines from the paint and start writing again….

Some of our children elected to also make prints of the rainbows or the lines they made in the rainbows on half sheets of paper…

Other children just enjoyed exploring the rainbow paint and rainbow writing process….

Rainbow Arithmetic

For rainbow arithmetic, the children sorted plastic colors of plastic fruit and other objects onto rainbow colors of construction paper….

The children worked together to select items from the baskets in the center of the table and then match them to the correct color of the rainbow…

Once all the items were sorted, the children estimated how many items were on each color mat and counted the items on the color mats…

Lots of color throughout the classroom as we explored the 4 R’s!


Rainbow books from Amazon…



By |2012-03-14T20:17:34+00:00March 14th, 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. Little Wonders' Days March 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    It looks like a fun day! I like the color sorting idea.

  2. Jackie March 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Love this post. How colorful and springy. Thanks for sharing, and I will be pinning this so I can use it later.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 15, 2012 at 1:43 am - Reply

      Thanks for pinning!

  3. Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories March 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    So much learning and fun with rainbows!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 15, 2012 at 1:43 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Trisha!

  4. Carla March 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah! I made a similar Rainbow Color book years ago, but we folded the paper on the bottoms to create a “pocket.” The kids colored or cut out pictures (from magazines) of items in each color and tucked it into the pocket. This helped us have a discussion about what things were red, yellow, etc….

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      What a wonderful way to expand this process – I will make note of that!

  5. Annette {Simple Mom} March 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I’m loving your rainbows and remember the rainbow linky party last year!

    I tried a new rainbow project for Valentine’s Day…such fun!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Oh my goodness – this year has gone by so fast!

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