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If you're facing yet another rainy day and wondering how to keep your group busy, here are simple activities that require very little prep time and can easily occupy children for up to 2 hours. These rainbow-themed activities will mostly help children develop their language skills, while also putting their motor skills to the test. I tested these activities with a group of 4-year olds, but I am sure that with a few minor adjustments, they can be enjoyed with younger children too.
You will need:
Activity 1-Making your rainbowCut each rainbow section so that you end up with several arches. Attach a paperclip to each arch. Invite children to take turns using the fishing pole to catch a colourful arch. For this activity, the goal is simply to use the pronoun "I" by encouraging them to say, "I caught the (name the color) arch." Once all the arches have been caught, have children assemble them from smallest to biggest, to form a rainbow.
Activity 2-Decorating your rainbowAsk children how a rainbow forms. If they don't already know, explain how a rainbow appears when rain and sunshine are present at the same time. Glue a cloud shape next to your rainbow and ask children to cut raindrop shapes out of blue construction paper. Next, have them create a sun using yellow construction paper and crayons. You can also tell your group that you've heard that tiny elves can sometimes be seen searching for treasure around rainbows. They will enjoy drawing tiny people under the rainbow.
Activity 3-A treasure huntPique children's curiosity by telling them that, according to ancient legends, treasure can be found at the end of a rainbow. Of course, you will have deposited a series of illustrations or objects representing clues as to where the treasure is hidden throughout the daycare prior to presenting this activity. Also provide a series of verbal hints that will help children integrate spatial concepts (search behind the door, look under the table, etc.). At the end of the activity, children can exchange the clues they found for bingo markers or gold coins (hidden treasure).
Activity 4-Beware of the robbers!Children sit in a circle. Cut out several pictures of robbers and policemen and arrange them in a pile. Children take turns picking a card. If they pick a picture of robber, they can steal one coin or bingo marker from another child. If they pick a picture of a policeman, they can reclaim one of their stolen coins. To help children develop their language skills, insist they use the pronoun "I". For example, they can say, "I am stealing/taking back a coin."
Activity 5-Treasure safekeepingChildren count the coins they have leftover. You can invite them to drop them in a piggy bank, one at a time. You can provide extra coins to give children the opportunity to count more than once.
And that's how the magic of rainbows can keep your group occupied for a relatively long period of time!
Maude DubéSpecialized child educator
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