Kick-Off Celebration: Kaleidoscope of Colors

Bulletin Board

Upstart offers posters and bookmarks that feature favorite children's book artists. Decorate the bulletin board with a poster and book jacket for some local favorites.


Hang hula-hoops or other plastic frames, such as polyvinyl plumbing pipe, from the ceiling using fishing line. Cut lengths of crepe paper streamers and tape them to hang down from the hula-hoops to create a kaleidoscope of colors.

Books to Display and Booktalk

  • Amazing Mosaics by Sarah Kelly.
  • Arthur and the Sword by Robert Sabuda.
  • A Color Sampler by Kathleen Westray.
  • Colorful Illusions: Tricks to Fool Your Eyes by Aki Nurosi.
  • The Kaleidoscope Book: A Spectrum of Spectacular Scopes to Make by Thom Boswell.
  • The Kids' Book of Kaleidoscopes by Carolyn Bennett.
  • Now You See it, Now You Don’t: The Amazing World of Optical Illusions by Seymour Simon.
  • Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda.


Serve colorful snacks, like jelly beans, colored apple sauce, popsicles, etc. For an ice cream treat, provide scoops of vanilla ice cream and a kaleidoscope of toppings such as colored jimmies, gummi bears, jelly beans, etc.

Audio Recording

“Parade of Colors” from Can A Cherry Pie Wave Goodbye? by Hap Palmer.


Read "Jelly Beans" by Aileen Fisher, which can be found in Read Aloud for the Fun of It by Caroline Feller Bauer. To make a “reader’s theater” presentation, let two people read the poem, alternating lines.


Hector Protector

(The additional verses to this Mother Goose rhyme are by Jeanette Larson. Recite them and invite the kids to add their own verses.)

Hector Protector was dressed all in green;

Hector Protector was sent to the Queen.

The Queen did not like him,

No more did the King;

So, Hector Protector was sent back again

Hector Protector was dressed all in red;

Hector Protector was sent to bed.

The bed was too hard,

The pillow was too;

So, Hector Protector went to stay with you.

Hector Protector was dressed all in white;

Hector Protector flew a kite.

The kite became tangled,

No more would it fly;

So, Hector Protector said "goodbye!"


Creative Coloring

Purchase inexpensive coloring books that have been created to provide children with the experience of simulating stained glass. Ruth Heller’s Stained Glass: Designs for Coloring Geometrics, for example, offers patterns to be colored with watercolor or felt pens that create a stained glass look. Dover Publications also publishes inexpensive books, like Big Book of Geometric Designs and Illusions to Color, that feature geometric designs.

Magic Colors

Anyone can do this simple magic trick with a magic coloring book. First, show the blank pages of your magic coloring book; then say the magic words and flip through again to show colored pictures. Purchase the coloring book at most magic stores or on the Internet at a cost under $10.00.

Use a magic change bag to show how colors combine. Put two single colored items, such as ties, scarves, or handkerchiefs, into the bag and pull out the same item that is dual toned. Put in several pieces of colored paper and pull out a rainbow.

Optical Illusions

Print some of the optical illusions from library books or from some of the Web sites listed under Professional Resources in this program. Let the children see if they can figure out the illusions.



Buy or borrow several Twister® games and hold a Round Robin tournament. In this popular board game, players spin a color wheel and move hands and feet from color to color. It is most suitable for kids’ ages 6-12 and can accommodate four players per board.



Kaleidoscope craft: toilet paper tube with mirror board prism inside.

  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Craft paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils,
  • Mirror board, cut 4” X 4 1/2” pieces
  • Old magazines
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Note: Mirror board is a craft paper available at many craft supply stores. It comes in 8 1/2” by 11” sheets and has a shiny silver side and folds easily. One supplier is Sax, www.saxarts.com.


Decorate paper to cover the toilet paper tube. Cut to size and wrap around the tube. Glue in place. Fold the mirrored paper lengthwise into a triangle. Insert into the tube as shown in the illustration. Hold the kaleidoscope in front of photographs from old magazines, wrapping paper, or colorful specialty papers.

Stained Glass

  • Waxed paper
  • Broken crayons
  • Crayon sharpeners
  • An old iron
  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Copier paper
  • Construction paper or cardboard frames
  • Designs from coloring books or stained glass pattern books (optional)

The children can draw their own design on the construction paper or you can provide simple patterns to trace onto a piece of copier paper. Place a sheet of waxed paper over the design. Allow the children to use the crayon sharpener to shave bits of crayon colors into the sections of the design. For younger children, prepare shavings ahead of time and distribute them in small cups. Lay a second piece of waxed paper on top of the crayon shavings. An adult then carefully melts the crayons with a warm iron. Be careful that the iron is not too hot. Use construction paper or cardboard frames to create a frame to fit the "stained glass." Glue the waxed paper to the frame and hang.

Note: Do this project ONLY if you have sufficient help from adults.

Scrap Collage

  • Small scraps of fabric, precut
  • Plastic lids from margarine tubs
  • Craft glue
  • Optional: Hole punch and string

Let each child select a number of small scraps of fabric. Children spread glue over the inside of the plastic lid and carefully place fabric pieces on the glue to create a mosaic. If desired, punch a hole in the lid to hang. This technique can be used to make mosaics out of other items such as dried peas or small beans in various colors and small pieces of construction paper or holes leftover from a 3-hole punch.

Paper Kaleidoscope

  • Pizza rounds or cardboard circles
  • Stickers, various sizes, colors, and shapes
  • Large sequins, metallic stars, and decorations of other shapes
  • Glue sticks
  • Pencils
  • Ruler or straightedge

Pizza rounds, also called Design Circles, are available from art supply stores, including Sax. Give each child a pizza round. Have the child hold the ruler in place and draw lines across the pizza round so that it is divided into 8 equal sections. This can be done in advance for younger children. Give each child a supply of stickers, sequins, metallic stars, etc. Beginning in the middle of the circle, children will place the stickers on the round in repeating patterns for a kaleidoscope effect. The same shape or design should be placed in two or more sections, equally distributed around the circle. Work from the center out until the kaleidoscope is complete.

Illustration of a finished kaleidoscope round with repeating patterns.


  • Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair. (6.5 minutes)
  • Snowflake Bentley. (20 minutes)
  • Toccatta for Toy Trains. (14 minutes)

Web-based Activity

Virtual Kaleidoscope


All the tools to create an online kaleidoscope are provided. View the kaleidoscope as additional elements are added.

Web Sites

Optical Illusions

Optical Illusions

Sherman Specialties Co.




Sherman Specialty Co. sells mini-kaleidoscopes for less than 10 cents apiece. Provide these as prizes for children who attend the program.

Professional Resources

How to Really Fool Yourself: Illusions for All Your Senses by Vicki Cobb.


Texas Reading Club 2004 Programming Manual / Color Your World...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011