Our rainbow on the ceiling

A few weeks ago, we were walking home from the park when it started to rain – one of those spring rains with large drops and still visible blue sky and sunshine.  Rainbows!  Look for the rainbows!  The crew and I started looking, but couldn’t find one that day.  When we got home, we started talking about rainbows – where they are, what colors they are made of, what letters are in the word, how to create rainbows from primary colors…all of the logical extensions of a near rainbow sighting.  I was inspired by some of the pictures posted by For the Children during preschool tours to create some rainbow art, and we ended up with a masterpiece!

Then, we decided to take it a step farther. We began on a Tuesday with Red Day, during which time we created the red portion of a ceiling rainbow from a roll of register tape, tempera paints, and red plastic lids.  Wednesday was Orange day – more tempera paints, register tape, and some liquid watercolor.  Thursday: Yellow day, and a collage from different recycled yellow paper.  Friday: Green, and stamping galore!  Monday: Blue day – a collage from puzzle pieces and bottle lids.  Tuesday: Blurple day (blue and purple…we didn’t get our blue finished on Monday).  We made our purple strips out of tempera paints applied with Q Tips.  As a side note, we had some lovely discussion around the new word “Blurple” where the members of the crew surmised the combinations created if the days were called Rorange, Glue, Plink, Rellow, Ged, and so on.  It takes some pretty sophistocated cognitive acrobatics to figure these out!

After several days devoted to creating our magnificent ceiling art, we knew we would need a party!  On Tuesday we planned – a trip to the grocery store gave us a chance to pick up items for our Rainbow Party – a lunch made up of colors of food from each color of the rainbow.  The crew decided the menu: strawberries, oranges, pineapple, broccoli, blueberries, and grapes.  On Wednesday, the kiddos showed up wearing their favorite colors, or combinations of clothing to pull in multiple colors – mismatched socks and hair rubber bands were ways to add color variety without adding layers of clothing.  We even had a rainbow colored hair wig arrive at the door!  We spent the morning washing and chopping fruit, and assembling our platters of food.  Then, we went for a Rainbow Walk, which is essentially a walk with a camera where the kiddos tried to spot colors from the rainbow on our way.  When they saw a color, they used our camera to photograph it. [For families…in case you are curious about which pictures belong to your kiddos…Red: Tekoa, Yellow: Simone, Orange: Christian, Green: Henry, Blue: Christian (sky), Cadence (framed art), Purple: Addie]

When we arrived home, we had our Rainbow Party – lunch with many colors (plus pita pockets with cheese and hummus), and rainbow jello!  It took me several days to let the jello layers set between batches, but the kids were ecstatic. What I love is that following Ellyn Satter’s advice on feeding children, and offering dessert items right along with the main dish, I get to watch children intuitively regulate their body’s needs.  I served a ton of jello – much more than I would normally offer, but we needed to see each color!  I let the kids go at it, and no one finished.  Many just picked at it and enjoyed the sensory experience of stirring all of the colors together.  Christian ate one bite, stuck her spoon in upside down, and went back to eating her pita pocket stuffed with cheese, broccoli, and grapes. (Grapes?  I know. She enjoyed it!)

I think there is something amazing about bringing small celebrations into ordinary days.  The act of doing something out of the ordinary mixes things up and adds wonder, joy, and excitement to a regular Wednesday afternoon.  Plus, how cool is it that I can – at a moment’s notice – declare a nondescript day of the week to be extraordinary, and the whole mood changes?!?  I love my job.