Rainbow in the window

There's a lovely idea around of children making rainbows to put in their windows so that they can spread a little joy to those who see them in these worrying and uncertain times. We saw one on our street earlier when we walked to our local park, in the house of a little girl who we waved to the other day.  We were keeping 2 metres or more from everyone, even our friends who we saw and chatted to from a distance and agreed we would both make rainbows. It's particularly poignant as we saw a real one in the sky the last time I collected him from preschool when it felt like the world was a very different place (after his brother and I got soaked on our way to get him!).

Real rainbow

We've played with rainbows before, splitting white light into the spectrum of colours using a prism. I got the prism out again this afternoon and made 'rainbows' on the ground outside for the boys to chase. They both loved running around and 'catching' the rainbows and it kept the small one (14m) amused for almost half an hour.

Catching a rainbow on his hand

A few weeks ago, after seeing some tropical fish, we made fish-shaped suncatchers for my son's window. I made a cardboard outline, stuck it on sticky plastic (the sort you use for covering books, I've got an old roll left from when I was at university and whilst it's not as sticky as it was, it still works) and gave him pieces of tissue paper to stick on (then stuck another layer of sticky plastic over the top - if it was stickier then you could just have the one layer and save on plastic, but the tissue paper was going to fall off ours. His first fish was made with red, yellow and blue squares and he enjoyed looking at the overlaps to see the secondary colours. He then insisted we made another and I cut different shapes of tissue paper, but he picked out all the parallelograms, decided 'parallelogram' was his new favourite word and became very fond of the resulting fish shape. Anyway, the fish are in his window at the back of the house, and we wanted to make a rainbow for the front where more people will see it.

Making his rainbow

To make the rainbow, I cut an outline from sugar paper and cut the surplus tissue paper pieces from our previous suncatchers a little smaller. I sorted them into piles of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, light purple and dark purple (the latter which I called indigo and violet even though they aren't, but they - along with pink - were the colours we had). For a child with a longer attention span for craft, you could extend the time they spend on making a rainbow by jumbling the colours and letting them pick through them, but I didn't want to put him off! He then set to work sticking the colours on to make a rainbow. He started with one of each colour, telling me the order (although he wasn't sure which purple was meant to be indigo...!) and then did the red arc, then orange etc. He ran out of steam in the middle and asked for help so I did a bit of sticking too, but he did the majority of it. Aside from one rogue green piece, he was really careful and precise which really isn't like him with craft activities, so he must have really wanted to make the rainbow!

Rainbow in the window

The rainbow is now in our living room window, and whilst it will hopefully bring a smile to some other people's faces as they pass on essential journeys, it will also brighten our days indoors as we can see it too whilst we stay at home, in line with tonight's government guidance here in the UK.