How to Paint a Rainbow

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Kid Activities

Paint the Rainbow

Teaching kids to paint a rainbow is one of my favorite activities for little ones!

The Significance of the Rainbow

The rainbow is an important symbol in Christianity and its appearance acts as a simple reminder that we serve a God who keeps his promises.

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:13

God shows us grace even when we are undeserving.

What an incredible blessing and an amazing reminder.

A Reminder of God's Covenant

All that said, because of their colorful uniqueness, kiddos love rainbows too!

They are a beautiful rarity that kids look forward to finding in the bright sky after a dark storm.

So, as you work on your rainbow painting project, I encourage you to not only teach your kiddos rainbow facts and colors, but to also teach them of Noah and the God who saves.

Teaching Kids How to Paint a Rainbow

Painting rainbows has always been a favorite spring activity in our home!

First, I taught my older boys and then my young daughter.

Now that my boys are practically grown and have left their rainbow art days behind, my 11-year-old is our current rainbow creator.

That said, the best (and easiest) way to teach children how to paint a rainbow is by teaching them ROY G BIV.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Paintbrush with Colors

ROY G BIV is the method I learned in school and it’s how I taught my own children the rainbow color sequence.

However, if you have little ones, you can take a slightly more simple approach and lean on this fun rhyme instead.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue! Don’t forget there’s purple too! Rainbow colors for me and you!

Quick Dry Rainbow Painting

Once, you’ve taught your children the rainbow color spectrum, it’s time to move on to painting the rainbow!

While I’m a huge fan of both simplicity and tradition, I always start this process on the side of simplicity.

First, I teach my children how to create a 6 color rainbow with quick-dry paints before moving on to more difficult (and messy) paints like watercolors or acrylics. 

Note: we skipped indigo for our primary rainbow project simply because it’s not always an easily obtained color, plus it can appear naturally as colors overlap during paint projects. Consider creating a larger blue arch and layering it with purple for your indigo.

Rainbow Painting

My son’s quick-drying rainbow art project!

While painting a rainbow seems like a no-brainer activity to the average adult, many children will need help creating one for the first time.

This is why I always suggest focusing on the quick-dry, no-mess method.

First, you will need everyday supplies such as paper or card stock (I always prefer cardstock for craft projects).

Then, you will need some simple paint sticks.

Tempera Paint Craft Supplies for Kids

These paint sticks are awesome because they have the feel of a glue stick but come out in vibrant paint colors instead.

Plus, young children who are still learning how to draw and write can easily create a masterpiece with little to no mess while working on important motor control skills.

Once you have your craft supplies, it’s time to move on to creating!

Start by teaching your children to create a large upside-down U shape on their paper, using the first color of the rainbow (red).

I prefer the U shape over the traditional narrow arch shape simply because younger children can master it more easily (and usually quicker too).

That said, you can definitely encourage them to do a more narrow shape if you prefer. 

Easy Way to Paint a Rainbow

I tend to start with U and help them graduate to a more traditional arch shape over time.

That said, starting with the color red is also key to creating a great first rainbow.

Not only is it important to start with red to help children remember the rainbow color sequence, but it’s also important for helping children complete their art in their given space.

For example, if you start with the last color of the spectrum (purple or violet), children may create too large of an arch and run out of room for the final few colors!

Definitely not something you want to happen on their first go.

Finally, have kiddos continue adding to their rainbow by using their paint sticks with each color of the rainbow.

It truly is a simple process that can be built upon and transformed into wonderful pieces of art as their skills grow!

Paint a Rainbow Using Traditional Paints

While I’m not an artist and don’t have a beautiful example of a traditionally painted rainbow to show you, I do think it’s incredibly important to teach young children to experiment with different art mediums from time to time.

One of the first mediums we tackle in our homeschool is watercolors.

Paint a Rainbow Using Watercolors

Again, you can use everyday materials such as paper or card stock.

However, if you find that your kiddos thoroughly enjoy using watercolors, I would definitely suggest purchasing watercolor paper.

Watercolor paper will absorb the paints better creating a better work of art (without the crinkly effect you get from traditional paper).

Also, you will need high-quality watercolors or washable paints.

 Personally, I don’t lean on other art mediums until my children have mastered using the paint sticks first.

Then, when it’s time to start the process of learning watercolors, we begin again, with the painting of a rainbow.

At this point, they will have mastered the rainbow sequence of colors and can likely create a beautiful arch shape on their own.

Once, your kiddos have tried paint sticks and watercolors, consider having them move on to other washable paints and acrylics to find their favorite.

Painting rainbows in different mediums is a fun activity for all ages, you guys!

Paint a Rainbow Using a Template

While painting a rainbow the traditional way is an important skill to master, sometimes learning to paint using a template can be equally important.

The great thing about templates is that you truly can use them at any stage.

Printable Template for Painting

If you have little ones who aren’t quite coordinated enough for paint just yet, you can lean on the paint sticks with your template or turn this template into a coloring page by sticking to simple art supplies like crayons instead.

However, if you have older kiddos who need to practice their watercolor or acrylic skills, they can practice blending colors or staying in the lines by painting their rainbow temples!

All that said, I highly suggest printing your template on thicker paper or cardstock before pulling out the paints.

More Artsy Fartsy Fun

If you loved this simple tutorial on painting a rainbow, I encourage you to check out all the fun ideas on our kid’s activities page!

From seasonal coloring pages and printable templates to handprint crafts and more!

Happy crafting, you guys!

How to Paint a Rainbow

Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the kid activities portion of the blog! 

Typically summer is the most productive time for my blog. However, our family is currently living in temporary housing and we do not see an end in sight (thank you housing marking 😪) — meaning my workspace & supplies to produce quality content it extremely limited.

I am still working, but it’s nothing like normal.

As always, we appreciate your patience! 

If you enjoyed this article or simply want to see more of our journey, feel free to follow us on social media for more frequent updates.

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

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Connect with our brand on social media and join our homeschool group on Facebook!

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Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the kid activities portion of the blog! 

Typically summer is the most productive time for my blog. However, our family is currently living in temporary housing and we do not see an end in sight (thank you housing marking 😪) — meaning my workspace & supplies to produce quality content it extremely limited.

I am still working, but it’s nothing like normal.

As always, we appreciate your patience! 

If you enjoyed this article or simply want to see more of our journey, feel free to follow us on social media for more frequent updates.

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

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