I am taking two weeks to do each letter of the alphabet with my preschooler and Kindergarten/Grade 1 child. The first letter that we have looked at is the letter R.
We started by doing a whole week on Robots which was a whole lot of fun! (check it out here)
I decided to also touch on the Grade 1 Alberta program of study objective of "Creating Colour" by continuing our lesson in R with Rainbows.
The first day we watched some videos on Rainbows. The kids really enjoyed all the different "Sing a Rainbow" versions. We also watched some PBS videos on how rainbows are made.
bingo daubers and let them have at it. My kids are extremely kinaesthetic learners so smashing the daubers on the paper to make the ink fly was the highlight of this project. While they didn't make a rainbow, they definitely enjoyed themselves seeing all the colours that they could choose from to make for a really open ended art project.
My oldest son just did a science project on polymers for his Grade 3 Celebration of Learning, and so the next project that we did with the younger boys used the same materials.
One polymer that my kids LOVE to play with are water beads. If you have not had your kids play with water beads before you need to stop reading this post right now and buy some off Amazon and then come right back!
Water beads are SO much fun! They are sold as a substitute for soil for plants and for decoration, but as a learning toy they are much more useful! First I had the boys try and separate the beads into all the different colours, which was a true test of fine motor skills. Next I had them use pipettes to fill the test tubes with water. It took about an hour for the beads to absorb all of the water, but when they did the kids dove right in! It is one activity that really fills that need for sensory play. The beads are slimy and bouncy so the kids kept squishing them and popping them, and then sorting them again and again and again. They spent at least a good two hours each day just playing with them. So the $1 investment for the beads it was well worth it!!
The next polymer that we played with was "InstaSnow". This stuff is incredible! You just use a tablespoon and some water and it expands to a 4th of a cup or so. To make the rainbow I took a little bit of the snow, put 3 drops of each food colouring into separate cups (using 2 drops of red/ 1 yellow etc to make orange etc.) and then put them all into a shallow dish in the correct order. It was so pretty for about 10 mins, and then it was all mixed up. All was not lost though, as it showed the kids what happens when you mix all the colours together....grey!!!
We saved the best for last. As a kid I remember making rainbows with Fruit Loops and loving it! I happily bought the colourful cereal for my kids to do the same. Of course they were able to sneak a few into their mouths without me noticing (or they think that I didn't notice). I always like to have a box of Fruit Loops in my craft room as they are really fun to play with, completely non toxic (lol), and they smell good too! I absolutely loved the rainbows that the boys made - they went up on our display wall as soon as they were dry!
Once we finished our project with the Fruit Loops our lesson on the letter R and rainbows was complete! However, the boys had a different idea. My middle child decided to use the Fruit Loops and make himself an R out of them and exclaimed "Look mom! A rainbow R!" He was so pleased with his creation.
My older son who was participating in the crafts was influenced by the rainbow theme going on as well. Later that day I found that he had organized all his Trash Pack by colour. It was neat to see them take the lessons one step further.