Preschool Rainbow Theme
Every teacher has a favorite theme, and this Preschool Rainbow Theme is my new favorite! I’ve always teased the kids that “rainbow” is my favorite color, and I truly do love ALL things color(ful)! These rainbow inspired ideas and activities are sure to become your favorite as well.
Rainbow Math Ideas
For these activities, I gathered some colorful mini clothespins, colorful buttons, pony beads, dry erase markers, cotton balls, and pipe cleaners. I had all of these materials on hand, because we preschool teachers tend to be well stocked! I combined these materials with some printables from my Preschool Rainbow Theme Pack and we were all set for some hands-on learning fun.
Preschoolers love to make patterns, and they need lots of opportunities to practice making them. Pattern-making provides practice with sorting and identifying similarities and differences. Patterning is the foundation for addition, multiplication, and more! It’s a foundational math skill that’s incredibly important for your preschoolers to master. For this activity, we practiced making AB, ABC, and ABB patterns.
While I provided the children with pattern prompts, you can certainly give them free reign to create their own patterns. Just be sure they make *actual* patterns and not just random arrangements of beads. I’ve found that pipe cleaners are the easiest thing for little hands to string pony beads on because the beads don’t continually fall off. Also, pipe cleaners can be bent to make rainbows, so that’s perfect for this theme!
This activity is great fine motor practice because it takes hand-eye coordination and pincer skills to pick up one bead at a time and string it carefully on the pipe cleaner.
Another fun rainbow themed preschool math activity involves using colorful clothespins for counting. I programmed each cloud shape with a number from 1-10 since children are working on identifying those written numerals. After they read the number, they had to clip that many clothespins on it. Rainbow clothespins make this activity even more fun and theme-relevant!
This is a great activity for practicing one to one correspondence, and it’s also an excellent way to give children fine motor practice.
Build a Rainbow
My preschool learners LOVE to roll dice and play counting games, so this next rainbow themed math activity is so much fun. They beg to play it again and again! The set-up is so simple. Simply laminate the rainbow mat from my Preschool Rainbow Theme Pack and add a bowl full of colorful buttons.
Children may roll a regular die, or they can roll the special rainbow die that comes with the packet. If you make the DIY rainbow die, be sure to laminate the paper and tape with heavy duty tape so it’s durable for many games!
After children roll the die and land on a number from 1-6, they count out that many buttons of ANY color. Then, they carefully place each color button on the correct section of the rainbow. When the rainbow is fully built, the activity is complete! This activity provides fine motor practice as children exercise their pincer grasp picking up each button. It also provides practice with sorting by color and one to one correspondence.
Hands On Addition Practice
Early addition is a skill that needs to be practiced with manipulatives and hands-on activities for preschoolers. For our Preschool Rainbow Theme, we used cotton balls as clouds. Cheap, easy, and so much fun! I printed and laminated the addition cards and gave the children a bowl full of fluffy white cotton balls. They had to read the numerals and place the correct number of cotton balls on each side of the rainbow. Then, they added them together and wrote the sum with a dry erase marker in the center of the rainbow.
We focused only on sums to 5, because I don’t want to overwhelm them. I want them to build a solid understanding of the fact that adding means joining two groups to make one bigger group before we move on to bigger numbers. This activity provides great practice with one to one counting correspondence as well! For children who are ready, you can introduce writing a number sentence and let them practice.
Wrapping Up our Preschool Rainbow Theme Math Activities
The last two math activities we used during our Preschool Rainbow Theme were simple number tracing activities. This beautiful counting mat can be laminated or placed in a protective pouch and used with a dry erase marker. The children loved the fact that the numerals are arched like a rainbow.
The final number tracing activity fits perfectly in the writing center. I simply laminated these rainbow writing cards and placed them on a ring clip. Children can practice writing numbers 1-10 with a dry erase marker again and again.
Which activity was your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Also…if you’re looking for more fun rainbow-inspired ideas, check out these posts: