By contributing writer Tabitha
As a child, I remember being fascinated by rainbows and the bright colors coming out of nowhere. I loved songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “The Rainbow Connection.” Any time I opened a new box of crayons, I was inspired to color a rainbow somewhere. Even now, I find myself drawing rainbows for my little ones.
I think there’s a natural curiosity when we see something in the sky that wasn’t there before. I know every time we see a rainbow it’s exciting. We gather everyone in the house to come see, or we point it out in the distance to anyone around.
Here are some ways we use rainbows to learn in our family, even with the many ages we have in our home!
Point them out!
Show your child the magic of rainbows. Talk about the colors we can see in a rainbow. Find them in stories, books, and movies. Look for them after rainstorms. Rainbows are something to look forward to when it’s stormy. A favorite song of ours talks about how we love to look for rainbows after rain because of how beautiful the earth is after it is clean.
You can do all kinds of rainbow projects – in different media, on different surfaces, with different amounts of talent. My oldest daughter made a cake. Multi-colored building blocks can make a rainbow. My youngest got ahold of the crayons and someone’s schoolwork. Art happens, and most of it can use the rainbow of colors available to us.
Make your own rainbows! (preschool)
Color them on pictures. Draw them on your driveway with chalk. This is a natural weather phenomenon that is FUN (and safe!). Find a prism and let it shine in your child’s room. Make your own outside with a hose or sprinkler.
Learn colors (preschool)
I love using rainbows to help my kids learn their colors. Of course, a song helps, too, such as this Roy G. Biv rainbow song.
Learn more about rainbows (elementary)
One of my kids’ favorite ways to kickstart science learning is through the Magic School Bus Television show. There isn’t much we can’t learn more about through watching an episode. The one that talks about rainbows and color is called, appropriately, “The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow.”
Study symbolism (older kids)
Colors have great meaning in all our lives. The rainbow is a symbol in religions and other groups. Each color can have meaning as well. This can lead to great discussions on why and how we can learn from the different interpretations.
Rainbows can brighten any day, and through them, we can be reminded to look at our world with a fresh perspective and a positive outlook. Enjoy the rainbows in your life! Whether looking at a rainbow drawn by one of your children or outside after a storm, may they inspire you and improve your day.