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Friday, April 19, 2013

Got rain? Make rainbows! ~ 3 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

We wrapped up a unit on colors and rainbows a few weeks ago and I blogged about it in a Living the Lutz Life post yesterday. I wanted to expand on the activities a little more and give directions in case you wanted to do these fun projects with your own kiddos! Since today is rainy and much colder than the low 80s we had yesterday, I figured it was the perfect day to share some rainbow crafts!

These activities would be a great way to tie in the Bible story of Noah's Ark, where after 40 days and nights of rain...God sent a rainbow as a sign that the flood was over and of His faithful promise to Noah and his family.

Color Mixing
To show the kids how two primary colors can mix together to form secondary colors, I filled up several jars with water and red, blue and yellow food coloring. I used glass canning jars, but you could use any transparent container. I will warn you that I filled and refilled these jars at least 3 times, because they loved it and wanted to do it again and again.

We did this activity on the opened door of the dishwasher, to minimize the mess. I placed a couple towels under the door, for any splashes or spills and had them wear old paint shirts. You will want to provide a few large, empty jars or containers for them to mix the water and create new colors. We had fun trying to make a musical xylophone by varying the levels of water in the jar to make different "notes" and tapping the jars with a spoon.

When all your playing is done, pour out the jars of water onto the lid of the dishwasher and slowly close the door. Use the "drain" button on your dishwasher to empty out the colored water. You may want to pour a few jars of clean water onto the door and repeat the process to wash away all the colored water.

Paper Rainbows
To prepare this activity, cut one inch strips (lengthwise) from red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple construction paper. Give your preschooler or lower elementary child a ruler, scissors and a pencil. Measure the pieces and cut accordingly:

Red ~ 10 inches
Orange ~ 9 inches
Yellow ~ 8 inches
Green ~ 7 inches
Blue ~ 6 inches
Purple ~ 5 inches

After all of the pieces have been cut, stack them so that the red is on the top and the purple is on the bottom (rainbow order). Line the pieces up at one end and staple them. Take all of the loose ends and make them line up on the other side, forming an arc. Staple the second side. Voila! A free-standing rainbow AND a math lesson. Cool!

Recycled Rainbow Swirl Crayons
This is a perfect way to repurpose all those broken crayons you might have stashed away somewhere! Gather up all your old, broken crayons and peel off their paper. Break the crayons into smallish pieces and spread evenly among paper or foil baking cups. Place the baking cups into a foil-lined casserole dish or cookie sheet. Make sure cups are at least 1/3 full. Bake your broken crayons in a 250 degree oven for about 8-10 or until most of the crayon pieces are melted. Some of the crayons may be unmelted, but they should look mostly flat on the top. Allow to cool completely and room the baking cup wrapper. Enjoy using your new rainbow swirl crayons!

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