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  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small cups or shallow trays of water
  • Large sponge cut into 2" (5 cm) cubes
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cotton or quilt batting
  • Hole punch
  • String or yarn cut into 12" (30 cm) pieces


What to do 

1. Demonstrate how to dip the paintbrush into the water and squeeze two or three drops of water into each color in the watercolor tray.

2. Have the children dip the small sponge into the water and wet the entire surface of their paper.

3. Before the water dries, tell the children to dip their brush into a warm or cool color, coating it completely.

4. When they are ready, have the children paint a rainbow arch on their paper. Repeat the process with the other colors of the rainbow, blending them.

5. After the paint dries, help the children cut their rainbows out and glue tufts of cotton on each end.

6. Punch a hole in the center of the rainbow and tie the string or yarn through the opening. Hang the rainbows from the ceiling.

More to do

  • More art: Have the children work cooperatively and create a large rainbow for the bulletin board.
  • Science: Position a glass of water on a sunny windowsill and demonstrate how the light separates into the colors of the rainbow.


-Barbara Saul, Eureka, CA

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Art & Craft Activities for Children 3 to 6
Center: Science/Discovery/Nature
Topic: Flowers/Trees/Nature/Earth
Content: The Arts: Visual Arts
Area: Fine Motor
Age: Kindergarten
Interaction: Individual Child

PDF Available

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