Color Activity: Stained Glass Rainbow Suncatcher
Oh spring, how we yearn for you! After what seems like the longest winter with all the rain in SoCal, I just cannot wait for spring to come. I know, I know, for those of you currently buried under 6 feet of snow, I feel for you. I grew up in New Jersey, after all. However, I have been spoiled by SoCal weather and now cannot stand it when it’s wet out! But I digress. Especially with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, we decided to celebrate the imminent arrival of spring with a fun and colorful activity – stained glass rainbow suncatcher!
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- Contact paper
- Construction paper (any color will do, but I like black to make all the colors of the rainbow stand out)
- Tissue papers
- Ruler (optional)
- Pencil (optional)
Let me explain briefly why the ruler and pencil are optional. To make the frame of the stained glass rainbow suncatcher, you can simply cut out the frame freehand without drawing the outline with a ruler and pencil first. It’s completely up to you. I am too much of a precisionist to do it freehand; squiggly lines drive me crazy.
This activity requires a bit of preparation, but the preparation itself can be an opportunity for your kid to practice his/her scissor skills. Cut the tissue paper into strips and then show your toddler how to cut the strip into squares. Your child can also rip the tissue paper into small pieces if you don’t think they are ready for scissors. My daughter loves using scissors, so she had a lot of fun helping!
1. Fold the construction paper in half.
2. (optional) Use a pencil and ruler and draw the outline of your frame.
3. (optional) Use a pencil and ruler to draw the stripes that will separate each color of the rainbow. You can make slanted stripes like what I did to give it a chevron pattern, or you can keep the stripes nice and straight. You don’t have to cut out the stripes if you don’t want to, you can simply guide your child to create a row of red, underneath that a row of orange, underneath that a row of yellow, etc. I just like how it looks with black stripes separating the colors.
4. Cut out the frame (and stripes if you choose).
5. Unfold the construction paper and TA-DA! You got a frame!
6. Stick the frame onto the sticky side of the contact paper.
7. Stick the tissue paper squares onto the contact paper.
After you finish sticking all the tissue paper squares to the rainbow, you have two options:
- You can cut the contact paper at the edges of the frame and add another contact paper on the other side to protect the tissue papers from falling off. You can then use tape to hang the stained glass rainbow suncatcher on the window.
- You can cut the contact paper a little bit bigger than the frame, leaving a thin border of sticky contact paper. You can then stick your suncatcher directly on the window using the contact paper. This is what I did because it’s easier.
ISN’T IT SO PRETTY? With my interior design skills (or lack thereof), I swear this is one of the prettiest decors in my house. Especially when the sun is out, the suncatcher really brightens up the room and makes you feel like spring is here!
This activity is a great way for your toddler to learn his/her colors as well as practice his/her fine motor skills. You will find out as you help your toddler that it’s not so easy picking up the tissue paper squares and separating them into individual pieces! Then they need to carefully stick on the tissue paper squares onto the correct color band with their little hands. Luckily, the contact paper is forgiving, so you can unstick and reposition the squares if necessary.
The indigo and the violet are a little confusing for the kids because they are both shades of purple, but I used this chance to explain the difference between light purple (violet) and dark purple (indigo). Also, I explained how indigo is the mix of violet and blue, just as how orange is the mix of red and yellow, green is the mix of yellow and blue, etc. You can further reinforce the concept by holding up two different colored tissue papers, one on top of the other, to the sun and showing your kid how a new color is created. What a fun way to introduce your preschooler to color mixing!
Hope you and your kids had lots of fun with this stained glass rainbow suncatcher! This is my first craft using contact paper, and I am excited to use more of it for future activities. Stay tuned!
What’s the weather like over where you are? Any glimpse of spring yet in the air?