Making a Rainbow

Pouring water

To explore Carter’s interest in rainbows a little more, I came up with this simple activity for him to be able to make his own (while working those fine muscles and following a process at the same time).

Included on this tray is: a bottle of water, 4 plastic bowls, a basket with coffee filters cut in half to make rainbow shapes (the really big ones would work better but I wasn’t able to find them), a dropper and an old dark-colored kitchen towel (for absorbing extra water through the filter).  Food coloring drops were also used, but this was a mommy only materials because of their clothes staining properties.

As with all his activities, I first let him watch me go through the process.  I took the materials off of the tray, spread out the towel, laid out a coffee filter, added a few drops of coloring to each bowl, poured each cup half full of water and used the dropper to drop colors onto the towel.  Then, I modeled how to clean it all up before letting Carter give it a try.


The last activity we did with water was Pouring.  I made the mistake of walking away for a few minutes to use the restroom.  When I returned, he was attempting to pour all the colored water back into the bottle resulting in a pretty big mess.  My go-to reaction would be “NOOOO! Don’t do that.”  But, I’m reading and learning more about the Montessori method all the time.  If a child doesn’t reach mastery, correction and drawing attention to their mistakes is not appropriate.  Instead I helped him clean up and told him that we would try it again on another day, making a note of what steps to demonstrate again the next time he chooses to make a rainbow.

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!


March Sensorial, Science and Art Materials

Spring I Spy Bottle

Of all the materials that I created for this month, this one is my favorite by far.  And, it’s proven to be Carter’s favorite as well.  When we visited the Montessori school in our area, one of the directors sat with Carter and a huge I Spy bottle while we observed the classes.  I saw then how much he enjoyed discovering the tiny objects inside.

The I Spy Bottle is really simple to make.  First, I dyed rice by putting some in a ziplock bag with a capful of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring.  Shake it around in the bag until all of the rice is covered, then pour it out on wax or parchment paper to dry.  Make sure it dries fully or you’ll get rice clumps in your bottle.  I found the mini bugs and flowers in the scrapbook section of my local craft store.  These are actually buttons, which don’t work as well as using pieces that are the same on both sides.

To complete the activity, Carter rolls and shakes the bottle until he finds one of the objects on the board.  When he does, he marks it with a button.  You can see the pdf of my game board if you would like a close-up of the objects that were in the bottle.


These two puzzles are also a big hit.  The kite can be printed for free from abcteach.  The rainbow was a template that I printed off of KidsSoup and laminated, though it really wouldn’t be terribly difficult draw it out and make it without a template.

Coloring Sheets

I am not a huge fan of coloring sheets and I really wouldn’t put them in the Art category.  To me, they are more of a pre-writing activity.  Whatever you call them, they are the easiest material to provide.  Simply search for Umbrella Coloring Sheet…or whatever you would like to find.  DLTK also has a LOT of free printables.

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!

*For those interested, I updated the Language Materials with one of the activities that I left off.

Dough Ornaments

Dough Ornaments

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

4 c Flour
1 c Salt
1 ½ c warm water
Large Spoon
Rolling Pin
Cookie Cutters
Varnish (adult use ONLY)


1.                Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.                Mix flour and salt well. Gradually add water, stirring with a large spoon. Finish mixing with hands. Knead until soft and pliable.

4.                Roll out on floured surface about 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets. With a straw make a hole in the top of the ornament for threading string. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) until hard, about 1 hour.

(Read some Christmas stories together while you wait!)

5.               Decorate with paint and varnish to preserve.

Then, clean up!

Conclusion: This was a material heavy activity.  Though we picked up all we needed for around $5, so it’s still frugal.  A few tips about the dough – the dough is really stout.  Rolling it out definitely takes an adult with some muscle.  Make sure you flip them half way through baking so that they don’t turn up on the edges.  Also, if they start to puff up, back off of the heat and cook for a little longer.  Let them cool and dry COMPLETELY before painting.  I thought mine were, but after I varnished them they were a little pliable, but still not breakable.

We bought some really pretty metallic red and green paints, but I was a little disappointed in the “red”.  You’ll notice they turned out very pink.  Some of the grandparents may raise an eyebrow at getting a pink ornament from their grandson.  This process took an entire day and a lot of my really good flour (note to self: use the cheap stuff next time), so we will NOT be redoing them before our trip to the nursing homes.

Have you tried this activity?  What other things are you making with your child for the holidays?  I would love for you to share a comment or a link below.

These activities are here for sharing.  If you like it, grab the link and pass it on.  It’s the highest form of bloggy love! ♥