Just a big pile of leaves, flower petals, and weeds? Nope.
Rainbow hunt? Yes!
One sunny afternoon late last week, I had two over-tired kindergartners, a 4 year-old, and a 3 year-old walking aimlessly around our backyard, bothering poor Brady and wondering what they could do since they just finished a marathon game of superheroes and fairies.
Knowing that my kids always jump at the chance to pick flowers–and what kid doesn’t?–I said, How about you go on a rainbow hunt?
And so began a quickie backyard rainbow hunt.
- Backyard Rainbow Hunt: Really, this earned big smiles from Maddy, Owen, Cora, and their sweet little buddy next door. I gave them the rules: one petal of each flower to show the color, look for as many rainbow colors as they could find, and bring them all back to me in a few minutes.
I ended up walking along with them to reach high leaves and petals and to open the gate for the front yard. It was a riot–they were looking at our yard with careful eyes, noticing every single color on every single bush and plant. And minutes before, they were all running crazy back and forth between the playset and the big ‘bush hideout’ in the corner of the yard. It was crazy.
organizing the backyard rainbow
We all chanted the colors of the rainbow as we walked around the yard. In fact, we had just watched an episode of Sesame Street the day before where they were talking about ROYGBIV, so we tried to stick with Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, even though most little guys can’t distinguish ‘blue’ and ‘indigo’. I’m not sure I can myself, to be honest.
I flipped over one of Maddy’s school papers as our ‘rainbow board’, and after we collected colors from the entire yard, everyone dumped them on the board.
Mostly Maddy and her buddy arranged the colors, but Owen and Cora chimed in and helped. And they ran for missing colors, like blue, which quickly appeared in the form of a badminton racket handle.
Overall, in the quick fifteen minutes it took to search for colors and organize them, they all created a pretty darn beautiful rainbow–just from things in our backyard.
All that great stuff I always say about sorting, grouping, and organizing came into play in a really easy activity. Sure, all of the kiddos playing are pretty comfortable in their knowledge of colors (okay, minus indigo), but this backyard rainbow hunt forced them to look at their own regular, everyday play area with a different set of eyes–scientist eyes, artist eyes, detective eyes.
They really seemed to enjoy it.
And with a little bit of learning disguised as a game–and with no prep and very little clean-up–I surely enjoyed it, too.