Let’s make a rainbow together!

A fun and creative process that will encourage teamwork in your classroom!

Whenever I can find an idea that our whole class can work on together in a successful way, I just love to put it into action! This handprint rainbow was perfect for everyone to join in!

Before I share with you the details about our rainbow, I want you to know that we have been exploring color and color mixing for several weeks now. This rainbow is more of a wrap up of all we have been exploring and the children were quite familiar with how to mix the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow to make secondary colors orange, green, and purple.

Preparing the Process

To set up our large group rainbow mural, Miss. Lauren prepared a rainbow outline on a large sheet of butcher paper with the colors for each line printed on the paper too. I wanted the process to be as kid friendly as possible so that the children could create the rainbow without my help.

Introducing a Story

To introduce the process, I read the story “Elmer and the Rainbow.” In this book, Elmer notices the rainbow is missing its color and sets out to find the end of the rainbow so he can give the rainbow some of his own color. After reading our story, it was time to add color to our rainbow too!

Making their Rainbow

I had only three colors of paint ready for this process – red, blue, and yellow.  I invited the children to begin with the red line and placed a dab of red paint on one hand.

Then they started at one end of the rainbow and patted the red line until they got all the way to the other end of the rainbow. This made one side of the rainbow a little darker than the other so some of the children went back to add more paint to the other end too as we went along.

And off they went then came back for a dab of yellow paint on their other hand.

Color Mixing

Next, the children came back to me and I placed another dab of yellow and red paint in their hands. The children rubbed their hands together then off they went to add orange to our orange line of the rainbow.

The children continued across the rainbow until they got from one end to the other – patting their hands on the lines of the rainbow with the matching color of tempera paint. By the time the children would get back to me for their next color, the paint on their hands was pretty much dried up so no need to wash hands between lines. We just continued and moved onto our blue line.

And then our green line.

And we finished with our purple line.

To make each color, the children rubbed their hands together which helped reinforce our knowledge of color mixing and led us to a beautiful, very natural looking rainbow.

Working Together

This was a wonderful experience for all my students to join in on and I loved it, too!

When the rainbow was complete, the children headed off to wash hands (and a few arms, too).

A Fun and Creative Process

If you are considering this process, let me encourage you to keep the process all about the children having fun and mixing colors to create a rainbow of their very own!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Weaving Through a Rainbow

Simple but Beautiful Abstract Rainbows

Paper Rainbows and the 10 Second Rule


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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