Toddler programs

The Rainbow Connection

Books To Share

  • Moonbear's Skyfire by Frank Asch.
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.
  • Rainbow and You by Edwin C. Krupp.
  • A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman.

Books To Show

  • All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler.
  • Over the Rainbow by E. V. Harburg.
  • Rainbow Crow: A Lenape Tale by Nancy Van Laan.
  • Silly Goose and Dizzy Duck Hunt for the Rainbow by Sally Grindley.

Bulletin Board

Treasured Books

Use crepe paper to create a rainbow across your bulletin board. Use gold foil or paper to create a pot at the end of the rainbow. Cut out book jacket art from old catalogs and paste or staple them into the pot of gold.


Use a rubber band to hold a blue, a yellow, and a red crayon. Draw an arc across an adhesive name sticker to create a rainbow. Add the child's name.


“Boom! Bang! THUNDER!” in Too Many Rabbits and Other Fingerplays About Animals, Nature, Weather, and the Universe by Kay Cooper.


"Rainbows" by Moira Andrew in My First Oxford Book of Poems compiled by John Foster.

Flannel Board

Red Bird

Use the bird pattern provided to cut out flannel birds for each color in the rainbow. Use the words to "Red Bird" on Get Ready, Get Set, Sing by Sarah Barchas and put each bird on the flannel board until you have a rainbow dream. This recording is also available in Spanish.


Eensy Weensy Spider

Make the “Washed-Out Spider” craft on page 42-43 of Crafts from Your Favorite Children’s Songs by Kathy Ross. Use this prop as you sing “Eensy Weensy Spider” to have the spider come “down the water spout.”

Rain Medley


It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.

He bumped his head and he went to bed.

And he couldn’t get up in the morning.

Rain, rain, go away,

Come again some other day.

Sun come out to shine,

Lighten up this heart of mine.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy, when skies are grey.

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you.

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Movement Song

May There Always Be Sunshine

Since we need sunshine and blue skies to produce rainbows after the rain, sing this song with toddlers or preschool children. Pete Seeger originally set the song to music, based on four lines written in 1950 by a Russian child. The song is available on several recordings, including 10 Carrot Diamond by Charlotte Diamond and Let’s Play by Raffi. The tune is very simple and easy to learn. Sign language interpretation often accompanies it and signs are provided at With a minimum of practice, the song becomes dance like in its fluid beauty.

May there always be sunshine

May there always be blue skies

May there always be Momma

May there always be me.

Some versions add additional verses such as “May there always be children;” “May there always be smiles;” “May there always be puppies;” or, “May there always be you.” Feel free to add your own. The song is also available as a picture book, May There Always Be Sunshine by Jim Gill.


My Own Rainbow

  • Large blue paper plates
  • Red, blue, yellow, green crepe paper streamers
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Cut out the center of the paper plate leaving a big circle. Tape lengths of the colored streamers to each plate. Let the children pantomime moving their rainbow across the sky.

Draw a Rainbow

Every child can draw a rainbow using Rainbow Crayons available from Constructive Playthings (MED-538 in the catalog). Each crayon is a band of six colors. Provide crayons and drawing paper for creative expression.


We Are a Rainbow

(Adapted by Jeanette Larson from a traditional rhyme.)

I see someone wearing red

Stand up red and turn around

(everyone wearing red stands up and turns around)

I see someone wearing blue

Stand up blue and smile, too!

(everyone wearing blue stands up and smiles)

I see someone wearing yellow

Stand up yellow and wave hello

(everyone wearing yellow stands up and waves)

I see someone wearing purple

Stand up purple and walk in a circle

(everyone wearing purple stands up and walks in a small circle)

Stand up every color and play with me

We've created a rainbow for all to see!

(everyone stands up and moves arms from left to right in a rainbow arch)

Guest Speaker

Check with local physics teachers or a children's museum to locate someone who can show the children how light refracts to create a rainbow.

Alternately, library staff can borrow or purchase several prisms. Place them on a window ledge or hold up in a sunny spot. Show the children how the rainbows flash onto the walls and ceiling.


Rainbow Cake

Prepare a white cake mix. Pour the batter into a cake pan and scatter drops of various colors of food coloring over the top of the batter. Use a knife to cut through the batter swirling the colors. Bake the cake. Frost the cake with white frosting and add rainbow-colored sprinkles. Cut and serve.

Audio Recordings

  • "The Rainbow Connection" on The Rainbow Connection by Willie Nelson.
  • “Rainbows” on Daddy Songs by Kevin Roth.
  • "Rainbows End/Pot of Gold" on Pillow Full of Wishes by Kathy Fink and Marcy Marker.


Note: Many videos include several episodes or segments. Show one section as part of your program. For a toddler program, limit the film to less than 10 minutes. Display the other videos for parents and caregivers to check out.

  • Barney's Great Adventure. (78 minutes)
  • Colors (Baby's First Impressions, Vol. 2). (32 minutes)
  • A Rainbow of My Own. (5 minutes)

Web Sites

Rainbow Coloring Page

The Rainbow Maker

Professional Resources

Upstart sells stickers that feature multicolored hands. The stickers are part of their bilingual reading promotion, "Reach for the World." Use these for incentives or to add interest to name tags.



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