After many, many days of grey, dreary weather–we needed a change! So for this week for our Tot school, I checked out Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.
This book is a fun way to introduce children to gardening. Each page has vibrant illustrations of bulbs and flowers. Children can see how different plants and flowers come in all different colors—-all the colors of the rainbow.
After reading the book, my daughter worked on a color-matching game and did a flower craft.
Planting a Rainbow File-folder game:
1 file folder
1 large piece of black fun foam or construction paper
colorful craft sticks glue
1. Glue the craft sticks onto one half of the file-folder in the order shown in the book: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.
2. Glue the piece of black fun foam/construction paper over the bottoms of the sticks to represent the soil.
3. Tape a large Ziplock bag on the other half to hold the rest of the popsicle sticks for matching.
4. Have the child place the matching colors on top of the glued-down sticks.
5. Optional: On plain wooden sticks, write the name of each color and have the student try to match the color name to the colored stick.
6. Optional: Use different color flower punch-outs or foam shapes and have the children match the correct color flower to the correct color stick.
Planting a Rainbow Craft:
1- 8×10 or 8 1/2 x 11 black picture frame (I purchased mine from the Dollar Store)
1 – large piece of black fun foam
1 – fun foam pieces of each color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
Green chenille sticks
Glue Dots (optional)
1. Using the book as inspiration, cut 1 flower for each color out of fun foam. I free-handed everything. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It does help to add a couple layers–ie flower centers, to the flowers.
2. Once the flowers are all cut out, have your student glue any pieces that need to be glued together. Let the flowers dry. (This is when we did the file folder game—or go outside and see if you can find any plants in _______ color.)
3. Fold the green pipe cleaners (chenille sticks) in half and cut. These will be the stems for the flowers. Tape the stems to the back of the flowers.
4. Take your photo frame and remove the glass and any inserts. Mine had a nice brown textured board as the background which I thought would look nice with the flowers. You can add a piece of colored construction paper or fun foam cut to size.
5. Arrange the flowers onto the picture frame in the order of the book: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. The only item that needs to be glued down is the green “fern-like” plant.
6. Tape the flower stems to the back of the picture frame. I used packing tape because it was a stronger hold than regular Scotch tape. You could use Glue Dots. (Both my girls helped tape the flowers onto the board).
7. After the flowers are adhered to the background of the frame, adhere the black fun foam over the flower stems onto the frame. You can use craft glue, glue dots or double-sided Super Tape. You may find that you need to adhere parts of the flowers down in various places so that they don’t fall forward. Glue dots work well for that.
We added a cute little worm in the dirt. Now we have our own rainbow garden hanging on the wall for all to see.
More Planting a Rainbow Book Extensions:
1. Plant your own rainbow garden.
2. Read: The Black Book of Colors: This is a book of colors that is meant to be felt, not seen. It tells how blind people relate to colors.
After reading this book, go on a scavenger hunt and gather things to create your own color book collage using the items mentioned in the book.
3. Learn about seeds! Download a free printable seed booklet for toddlers and preschoolers.
4. Go on a nature color walk.