Continuing our fun with rainbows, we took our learning outdoors to create some colorful rainbow art. The very thought of paint gets my little ones excited, so I decided to put together a process art and science activity that involved rainbows, ramps, and paint!
Materials Needed for Rolling Rainbow Art
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Prepare Your Art Space
I set the ramp up using a piece of plywood and attached white paper from an art easel roll to be our canvas. At the base of the ramp, I placed a piece of cardboard to catch the balls and keep our grass relatively clean.
I wanted to sneak in some investigative science with our art activity as well, so I gathered a variety of balls from around the house to roll down our ramp and act as our paintbrushes. Some balls were made of wood, some plastic. Some were large and smooth and others were hollow or bumpy. I placed some washable tempera paint in a rainbow of colors at the top of the paper to coordinate with each ball.
Let Kids Investigate and Make Predictions
Our neighbor friends joined in on the fun as soon as they saw our fun setup. I let each child examine the balls prior to rolling and painting with them. Some commented on their texture while others made comparisons to their sizes.
I asked them to hypothesize which ball would roll the fastest if we raced them. I also prompted them to think about what kind of imprint each ball would leave behind on the paper. As soon as they made their conclusions, the children were anxious to test out their theories on the ramp.
Ready, Set, Paint!
After instructing the little scientists to match up their ball with the coordinating color, we counted down from 3 to commence the race.
The kids were excited to see their hypotheses proved as the heavy wooden green ball won the race! This got us talking a lot about density and velocity. Most of them concluded that the small plastic orange ball would be the slowest, but didn’t imagine that the larger red ball would turn out to be the snail of the group! It tended to veer off course because of how much air was inside, plus it was a windy day.
The kids recognized that we needed something more at the base of our ramp to keep the balls contained. Some of the boys grabbed some stacks of newspapers and a plastic container to build a makeshift wall. This might be helpful if you’re wanting to prevent your grass or sidewalk from becoming a rainbow of colors!
The fun and excitement continued as they continuously sent the balls down the ramp, commenting on how the colors were mixing and the different trails each ball left behind. The purple spiky ball was noted as the favorite as it left a “polka dot trail.”
We ended up with a beautiful rainbow process art that displayed the joint effort of all! Go ahead-grab some balls and create a rolling rainbow canvas of your own!
Get a full week of playful rainbow theme ideas!
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
Explore a rainbow theme with your preschoolers for St. Patrick’s Day or Spring. This pack includes editable lesson plans and hands-on activities for a week full of math, reading, & science learning activities. There are also many color activities included so that preschoolers can learn colors and be introduced to basic color theory. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:
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