(rain)Bows and (ra)dii!

Darla's Top Pick of the Week, the Grimm's Large Wooden Rainbow, is so beautiful and so entertaining to play with that Darla and the Ape 2 Zebra Kids were inspired to make their own rainbow mobiles this afternoon.

<Read Darla's Toy Review of Grimm's beautiful Rainbow Toy here>

Grimm's Wooden Rainbow RingsDarla thinks that the best thing about this activity is how much fun it is to make it, and how pretty it looks hanging up in your room when it's done, but I think that the best thing about the activity is how many opportunities it provides for learning, especially science and math.  While you're making it, you can of course talk to your own kids about how rainbows are formed, and how the colour spectrum works. Tracing and cutting the rainbow colours and raindrops is a wonderful way to encourage preschoolers and kindergarteners to practise their pencil and scissor skills, and young tots can be challenged to identify the shape, and order and stack the coloured circles from largest to smallest. If you are working with older kids, making the circles that will form the rainbow rings is a natural time to use and discuss and demonstrate the meaning of terms like "radius", "circumferance" and "diameter", and to practise using a compass.  Whether you make them just for fun, for learning, or for display, they're sure to be a bright addition to your day! Ready to make your own?



Here's What You Need:

Construction Paper or cardstock in red, orange, yellow, green and blue (or feel free to add additional colours to make a full "ROY G BIV" rainbow)
Fishing line
Cotton balls
Liquid glue
Glue stick (optional)
A math compass to make your circles (or either make your own using a pencil and string, or trace bowls/glasses to form circles)

Here's What You Need to To:

1. Draw a large circle on red construction paper using your compass, or alternate circle making tool. (Note: To make your own "compass", tie one end of a length of string to a thumbtack.  Tie other end of string to a pencil.  Place thumbtack in center of the paper, pull the string tightly, and draw the circle with the pencil, keeping the string tight at all times and the pencil straight up and down.)

2. Form a smaller circle on orange paper (the radius - how is that for using "math language"? - of our orange circle is 1.5 cm smaller than the radius of our red circle, the radius of the yellow circle is 1.5 cm smaller than the radius of the range circle, and so forth). Continue to form smaller circles on your yellow, green, and blue paper.

3. Cut out circles.  Glue orange circle onto centre of red circle, yellow circle onto orange, green onto yellow, and blue onto green.

4. Fold stacked and glued circle in half. Cut out centre of blue circle, if desired. Open circle, and cut in half along fold line.

5. Cut out rain drops from blue paper (we used 10), and cut and equal number of pieces of fishing line in various lengths.  Tape, or tie one raindrop (we pierced a hole in each raindrop with a thumbtack, threaded the fishing line through, and tied the end) to each piece of fishing line.

6. Tape ends of fishing line along the bottom of the backside of one half of your rainbow.

7. Glue the backsides of your rainbow halves together.

8. Spread a bit of liquid glue along the bottom of one side of your rainbow. Gently pull apart a few cotton balls (we used four per side), and glue along the bottom of your rainbow to form clouds. Repeat on opposite side or your rainbow.

9. Punch a hole in the top of your rainbow, and thread a string through to hang.

10.Admire your new spring decoration!

Be sure to let us know if you make rainbows of your own too!

We'd love to see or hear about them, either here or on facebook.

Beary Truly Yours,
Theodore Bear

<Read Darla's Toy Review of Grimm's beautiful Rainbow Toy here>