With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, it is only appropriate to share at least one rainbow craft. Of course, a rainbow craft is great for weather units and for learning colors, too. This rainbow craft is one that really helps students develop their fine motor and scissor cutting skills.
Isn’t it lovely? My preschoolers enjoyed this craft so much! I love it when a project can integrate several subjects. This one does just that. It integrates science and math with art and fine motor development. Not the mention it is just plain fun, too! I love the texture the snipped yarn gives the rainbows, and as always it was fun to observe the students processing their materials as they created their crafts. This craft allows for each piece to turn out completely unique and different from another student’s rainbow. And, so I even have to mention that I love this rainbow craft for it’s promotion of developing scissor skills and fine motor skills?!
The process is simple. I gave each student about four feet of yarn of each color of the rainbow (one color at a time, though) for them to snip. I explained that they could choose to make their strings long or short, or they could snip a mixture of long and short. However, I did encourage the students to keep the pieces of yarn less than about four inches, but who is measuring?
Cutting the yarn obviously gives the students more practice in scissor cutting, but it also requires some serious critical thinking on the students’ part. Unlike paper, you cannot hold out a piece of yarn without it limping over the end of your finger or hand, so the students had to really consider and experiment to figure out just how exactly they could cut the yarn.
As you can see from the above picture, one student held a longer length of yarn so that the end dangled away from his hand, and he snipped it into smaller pieces while it dangled in the air. The student in the foreground, whose hands you can only see, felt that it was easier to cut the yarn if he help several strings at once. Another student tried laying the yarn on the preschool table and snipping with the very tip of his scissors. One student asked that I hold one end of the string while she held the other and cut the taut piece of yarn.
Once yarn of each rainbow color was snipped into appropriate lengths, I invited the students to tell me what they noticed about their piles of yarn. Immediately students began jabbering about the various lengths of yarn that had been cut. Who had the longest? Who had the teeny tiniest? Who had the biggest pile? Who had the “mixed-upiest” pile?
I asked the students what they noticed about the colors of yarn they had cut.
This lead into a fun discussion about rainbows and their colors. Students shared experiences where they had seen rainbows, clothing they wore with rainbows, what makes a rainbow. One student even asked why he couldn’t touch a rainbow! We shared our ideas and read lots of books, and the students shared even more ideas.
Finally, we returned to our craft. I gave each student a rainbow shaped cut-out made from poster board. I watered down some liquid school glue so the students could paint the glue into their cut-out, thus ensuring to cover the entire rainbow with glue and yarn. Then, students began adding their pieces of yarn.
This student didn’t worry of much about the order of his rainbow colors, but as he added each color he named them and shared something he had seen in that color. “This color is red. I put red on my rainbow. Strawberries are red.” Each and every color! I loved it!
Once all the colors were added, students pulled apart cotton balls for the clouds, and glued those on as well.
I love each rainbow for it’s unique characteristics. None of the rainbows turned out exactly the same, and it was wonderful to observe the children as they make their choices about how to make their rainbows.
There are many a rainbow craft to be found, but this one is one of my favorites. While our discussion about rainbows in preschool was more scientific and experience based, these rainbows happen to be appropriate for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday!