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 basic colors of red, blue, and yellow to make orange, green, and purple.
To set up our large group rainbow mural, Miss Lauren whipped us up 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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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!
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