Rainbows have fascinated people for years – from thinking that pot of gold can be found at the end of the rainbow to showing that in fact light is made up of the rainbow of colours they inspire and excite people. Teaching toddlers and preschoolers about the formation of a rainbow through the light passing through the droplets of rain and producing it in the sky can be done but don’t expect most of them to retain the information instead use rainbows to explore some sensory science and look at colour mixing in this mess-free rainbow sensory experience for toddlers.
There are lots of ways to incorporate the senses into play with toddlers and preschoolers and a lot can get very messy. Personally, I don’t mind mess if we can contain it somewhere or do it outside but for rainy day’s I do like to make it a little less messy and sensory bags are one of the easiest options to create.
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Everything is contained within a ziplock bag and as long as you remember to seal the bag carefully then you, your children and the space that you playing in won’t get messy at all.
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Materials needed for your Rainbow Sensory Bag
Tape to seal the bag and secure it to your surface – Duck Tape or similar is best but I used a combination of sellotape and masking tape
How to Create your Rainbow Sensory Bag
- Remove the label from the bag using the nail polish remover on a cotton wool ball.
- Place the bag on your surface and fill with some red, yellow and blue paint.
- Seal the bag and then tape the seal closed.
- Secure the bag to your surface (I used a white sheet of cardboard from a cereal box so that if any paint did come out of the bag then it would be off my table).
Sensory Play – Can you Make the Colours in the Rainbow!
Before you start – look at pictures of the Rainbow in your book A Rainbow of my own with your child and point out the colours that they can see. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet, they probably won’t be able to identify the indigo as it will just be a darker blue or a darker purple to them.
Now ask them to see if them can make the colours of the rainbows in their sensory bag.
If it’s the first time you have used sensory bags then help them by showing how the paint will move as you squish it around.
Let them explore and discover asking about the colours they see and if you want take some pictures to compare to the real rainbow when you next see one.
Check out our colour mixing experiment using light to mix primary colours to make secondary colours.
More Rainbow Insipred Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
For the past three years in March, we have joined in with Storybook Science over on Inspiration Laboratories connecting books with science on themes during the month. This year we are posting in 3 of the theme – this post for Sensory Science, next week we have one for Science for the Future where we will be looking at the why behind one of the reasons that plastic bags are an issue in the environment and then the following week we dig down in the soil and explore that for Science in the Garden.
Find our previous posts here –
- Exploring Rock Pools with Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson
- Learning about Sea Turtle Conservation with Into the Sea by Brenda Z Guiberson
- STEM Airplane Challenge with The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jefferies
- Investigating the Impact of Humans on Ocean Animals – Plastic Bag Jellyfish model with Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson
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