Dis­cover the Col­ors off the Rain­bow

The Pilot News - The Review - - News - (c) 2020 Donna Erick­son Dis­trib­uted by King Fea­tures Synd.

St. Pa­trick’s Day is just around the cor­ner on Tues­day, March 17, and the first day of spring fol­lows on the 19th. Both cel­e­bra­tions bring thoughts of col­or­ful rain­bows to mind. While we might not see them of­ten, when we do, we mar­vel at their beauty. Like the Ir­ish, we pon­der the thought of find­ing the leg­endary pot of gold at the end of one.

Even if rain isn’t in the fore­cast, en­joy a rain­bow-filled day with kids learn­ing the rain­bow spec­trum.


Learn the se­quence of col­ors in the spec­trum. My artist friends use the catchy name “Roy G Biv” to help chil­dren re­mem­ber. The let­ters stand for Red, Or­ange, Yel­low, Green, Blue, Indigo and Vi­o­let. Then, dis­cover the ba­sic spec­trum in­doors on a sunny day. Pour water in a clear glass, tilt it side­ways and move it slowly along the edge of the kitchen counter un­til you catch rays of sun shining through the water. A rib­bon of rain­bow col­ors will ap­pear on a white floor or on a white sheet of pa­per placed on the floor. Look closely to see that the col­ors of the spec­trum are on a con­tin­u­ous gra­di­ent. They are dis­tinct yet meld into one an­other.


Cre­ate rain­bow place mats for spring­time snack­ing. Line up wash­able mark­ers in the or­der of the spec­trum, then draw a rain­bow with them on con­struc­tion pa­per. Dip a paint­brush in water and swipe it over the rain­bow to meld the dis­tinct col­ors into one an­other, cre­at­ing hues.

Re­cy­cle clear plas­tic water bot­tles into artis­tic rain­bow “Dis­cov­ery Bot­tles,” each filled with items rep­re­sent­ing a con­ven­tional color of the spec­trum. While I rarely pur­chase water in plas­tic bot­tles any­more, I pur­chased a 6-pack of Voss arte­sian water for this eye­catch­ing ac­tiv­ity. The la­bels peel off eas­ily, and the lids are hand­somely de­signed in gray. I used the six bot­tles for the ba­sic col­ors, com­bin­ing blue and indigo. Chil­dren over 4 years old will en­joy root­ing through their craft sup­plies and toys for un­break­able items to drop and stuff into each bot­tle by color. We used pipe clean­ers twisted in spi­rals, crayons, rib­bon; tis­sue pa­per wadded into balls, but­tons and wooden beads -- which add the bonus of nice sound when shak­ing.

Sort items in six piles by color, then fill each bot­tle. Driz­zle glue around the out­side mouth of bot­tles and screw on caps tightly.

For play, name the col­ors, line them up in or­der of the spec­trum, and de­scribe con­tents by shape. Make up rain­bow sto­ries. Dis­play your rain­bow on a shelf. ***

Donna Erick­son’s award-win­ning se­ries “Donna’s Day” is air­ing on pub­lic tele­vi­sion na­tion­wide. To find more of her cre­ative fam­ily recipes and ac­tiv­i­ties, visit www.don­nas­day.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Face­book fan page. Her lat­est book is “Donna Erick­son’s Fab­u­lous Fun­stuff for Fam­i­lies.”

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