Sail Over the Rainbow

Books to Share

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin.
  • Cat’s Colors by Jane Cabrera.
  • Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Barry.
  • One Gray Mouse by Katherine Burton.
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Carlo Likes Colors by Jessica Spanyol.
  • Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story about Colors and Counting by Emma Dodd.
  • My Very First Book of Colors by Eric Carle.
  • A Rainbow All Around Me by Sandra L. Pinkney.
  • Spicy Hot Color, Colores picantes by Sherry Shahan.

Bulletin Board

A Rainbow of Books

Create a rainbow of book jackets by arranging similar colors in an arc on your bulletin board. Add the slogan “A Rainbow of Books” above the rainbow. Have the rainbow end with a pot of gold filled with more books.



Cut out three circles from three different colors of paper, making one large, one small and one in-between. Glue the circles on top of each other so that they are stacked with large on the bottom, medium in the middle and the small on top. Cut the pile of circles in half to make the rainbow. Each grouping will make two nametags.


Read On A Rainy Day!

Display books, videos, DVDs and musical recordings about colors, rainbows, and art books with an assortment of rain gear such as colorful umbrellas, boots, and raincoats. Wear a raincoat and boots to storytime.


Jello™ Rainbows


  • Jello™ (different flavors)
  • Small clear plastic cups


Prepare red Jello™ and pour a layer into small clear plastic cups. Chill until set. Add a layer of orange Jello™ and set. Continue adding layers and chilling until you have a complete rainbow. After the final layer has set and chilled, serve at storytime.


Dancing Crayons

(By Susan Dailey of the Wells County Library System in Indiana, adapted by Debbie Brightwell Brown, with permission. Cut crayons out of many colors of construction paper. Prepare enough for each child to have a couple of crayons in the appropriate colors. Sing to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”.)

If you have crayon red, crayon red.

If you have crayon red, crayon red.

If you have crayon red,

Then put it on your head.

If you have crayon red, crayon red.

If you have crayon blue...

Then put it on your shoe.

If you have crayon brown...

Then wave it up and wave it down.

If you have crayon black...

Then hide it behind your back.

If you have crayon white...

Wave it left and wave it right.

If you have crayon yellow...

Wiggle it like its jello.

If you have crayon green....

Wave it high to be seen.


Audio Recordings

  • “Parade of Colors” on Learning Basic Skills through Music, Vol. 2 by Hap Palmer.
  • “Rainbow Of Colors” on We All Live Together, Vol. 5 by Greg and Steve.

Flannel Boards

Five Little Umbrellas

Use the Five Little Umbrellas flannel board story and pattern provided in the Preschool Program chapter’s “Sail Into Careers” program.



Color Squish


  • Shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Zip-lock sandwich bags


Fill several sandwich bags with shaving cream. Add a few drops of different food coloring into each bag and zip closed. Allow the children to squish the colors around to mix and see the color changes. Dispose of the bags after this activity to ensure that the toddlers do not accidentally ingest any of the shaving cream and be sure that you use a non-mentholated cream just in case any gets on little fingers.

Rainbow Streamer Plate


  • Small paper plates
  • Paper crepe paper steamers in various colors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue stick


In advance, cut one-foot lengths of crepe paper streamers. Cut the paper plates in half. Let the children color the paper plates to create a rainbow. Then let each child glue the ends of the streamers to the straight side of the plate, side by side, so that they hang down. Let the children hold the rounded part of the paper plate as they spin and dance with their rainbow.

rainbow streamer craft

Games and Activities

Colorful Musical Hop

Place different colored felt or carpet squares all around the floor. In advance, prepare small slips of paper that match the colors on the floor and place them in a bowl. Let the children walk around, stepping onto the squares as you play music. Stop the music and pull a slip of paper from the bowl. Call out that color. Tell the children they have to find that color and hop on it.


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use. Times are indicated for the entire film.

Planting a Rainbow. (6 minutes)

Web Sites

Crayola Creativity Central

This site provides the user with computer and printable coloring pages, crafts, and activities, computer games, lesson plans and Crayola products that are available for purchase.


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

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

Page last modified: June 14, 2011