Rainbow Activities for Child Development

Here, you will find rainbow activities that are powerful and effective activities to help with child development. I’ve strived to pull together rainbow sensory activities, crafts, fine motor activities, visual motor activities, and movement ideas. Scroll through the various rainbow theme ideas to promote skills for all ages. These are great additions to your Spring occupational therapy activities!

One of our favorite ideas is a fruit loop rainbow craft, but you’ll love the others below, too.

We’ve also added a free printable therapy activity sheet with rainbow activities that can be used in planning therapy sessions. Scroll to the bottom of the blog post to grab this resource.

rainbow activities

These are developmental activities to add to your occupational therapy interventions.

Rainbow Activities for Therapy

Each rainbow therapy activity below is designed to promote multiple aspects of child development. These are powerful motor activities for developing areas that help kids with functional tasks, coordination, movement, and learning.

Rainbow activities for child development and occupational therapy interventions

Some of our favorite rainbow activities include colorful sensory bins, rainbow markers and crayons, and making rainbow crafts. The nice thing about using a rainbow theme in therapy is that you can use what you have on hand.

  • Sort paperclips or craft pom poms by color.
  • Pick a colored pencil out of a box and use it to write the name of the color.
  • Ask the students to name their favorite color and then use it as a rainbow writing prompt to write about things that are typically that color.
  • Cut colorful paper into strips and glue it to a cloud shape cut from paper.

There are so many easy ways to come up with rainbow ideas that build on skills. Let’s take a look at a few more ideas…

Rainbow activities for kids to use in occupational therapy sessions to develop skills like fine motor skills, sensory processing, and executive functioning skills.

Rainbow Fine Motor Activities

A rainbow therapy theme is great during the Spring months.

This time of year, rainbows are the way to go for building fine motor skills. Try some of these activities to work on fine motor strength, coordination, hand eye coordination, motor planning. You’ll see improvements in pencil control, dexterity, precision, in-hand manipulation, and fine motor skill work.

rainbow pencil control activities

Rainbow pencil control activities– All you need is some colored pencils and paper to work on pencil control, visual motor skills, and hand strengthening.

color mixing rainbow handwriting activity

Rainbow Color Mixing Handwriting Activity– Grab a pack of markers. Kids can work on color mixing and letter formation, letter size, spacing, and handwriting legibility.

Rainbow beads

Rainbow bead bracelets– Use beads and pipe cleaners to make a set of rainbow beads and develop pincer grip, in-hand manipulation skills, bilateral coordination, open thumb web space, arch development, and eye-hand coordination skills.

Pipe Cleaner Rainbow Craft– An alternative to the rainbow bead bracelet is our pipe cleaner rainbow that we made many years ago. This activity was fun because we built a 3 dimensional rainbow…and then used it in our leprechaun trap!

To make the rainbow pipe cleaner, use colorful pipe cleaners and colorful beads. Ask your students to sort the beads into colors of the rainbow, and then match the beads to the same colored pipe cleaner. Bend the pipe cleaners into a rainbow arch. Then, push the ends of the pipe cleaners into a foam block.

teach prewriting lines to kids with a rainbow theme

Rainbow PreWriting Lines Activity– This free therapy slide deck is a fine motor and gross motor activity to help kids with pre-writing skills. Kids can work on finger isolation, eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, and more.

Pot of Gold Coins– Cover cardboard circles or washers with foil to make gold coins. If you can grab some gold wrapping paper or tissue paper, use it to wrap the circles while kids develop bilateral coordination, precision, hand strength, and motor skills.

In this blog post, you’ll also see how to tie scraps of fabric to create a rainbow. This is a fun bilateral coordination activity that builds hand eye coordination skills as well.

Rainbow Play Dough Fine Motor Activity – Use this hand strengthening activity to work on finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, dexterity, and arch development. Here is a rainbow play dough recipe.

Rainbow Bottle Activity– All you need is an empty water bottle and colorful craft pom poms to work on finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, bilateral coordination, hand eye coordination, and dexterity. This is a great rainbow activity for preschoolers or toddlers.

Rainbow Fine Motor Sort– All you need is an ice tray and colorful craft pom poms to work on in-hand manipulation skills, sorting, precision, dexterity, and finger isolation.

Rainbow Scoop and Sort– A simple rainbow sensory bin can include beads, yarn, or any colorful materials and a handful of cotton balls. Add a kitchen utensil or scoops, tongs, or other tools to scoop, manipulate, and work on coordination, and fine motor skill development.

Rainbow Fine Motor Work on the Window– Kids can cut foam sheets into strips to work on scissor skills. Then, stick these to a window or even a shower wall to work on precision, wrist extension, wrist stability, shoulder strength and stability, core strength, and the coordination skills needed for fine motor tasks like pencil control and dexterity.

Rainbow cups

Rainbow Cups– Make a set of these colorful cups and work on bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, core strength, motor planning, and more.

Fine Motor Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages

Rainbow Flip and Fill Fine Motor Activity– Kids can use these alphabet worksheets to fill the upper case or lowercase letters and develop fine motor skills like in-hand manipulation, eye-hand coordination, precision, open thumb web space, and more, with these color activities in the Colors Handwriting pack and bonus pages.

More ideas for supporting fine motor skills with a rainbow theme include:

Fruit Loop Rainbow Craft: One therapy tool that I love to use during the Spring months is Fruit Loop cereal rings. Why? It’s a great shape for little fingers to work on pincer grasp and eye hand coordination, but it’s also an inexpensive therapy tool, too.

  1. All you need to do is create a rainbow template on paper or cardstock.
  2. Ask your student to separate the cereal by color. This is a great color sorting activity.
  3. Next, show your student how to glue the cereal pieces onto the rainbow.

This activity encourages fine motor skills such as picking up small objects, hand-eye coordination, and color recognition. Here are more Fruit Loop Rainbow craft ideas.

Rainbow Writing: If you need an inexpensive therapy activity that uses items you already have, rainbow writing is it. Kids like to rainbow write, especially if you use motivating words or a different writing surface than they are used to.

  1. First, gather your materials. You’ll need a surface and colorful writing utensils (dry erase board and markers, sidewalk and chalk, paper taped to a window and crayons, fabric and markers, or just use paper and crayons).
  2. Show the students how to make a rainbow shape using one color. Ask them to draw a large arch.
  3. Next, use each color of the rainbow to draw right over the first arch.

You’ll end up with a colorful mess…but it’s a great activity for building skills!

This activity supports visual motor skills, pencil control, and crossing midline. If you use a dry erase board or a window, ask your students to use a spray bottle with water to erase the colors and then watch those colorful rainbow drips!

Color Rice for Sensory Bin: One sensory motor activity that I love is a good old fashioned sensory bin. Kids love a sensory bin, and as the OT practitioner, you can add or pull out a couple of items to meet specific needs, and then use the sensory bin with your caseload.

  1. Dye rice with different colors like we do in our rice sensory table blog post.
  2. Fill a large container with the colorful rice.
  3. Add tools and cups to scoop and pour. (Spoons, funnels, containers)

Of course, with any sensory bin, you would need to consider the safety of the child, and a color rice sensory bin would be no different. This activity works on motor planning, sensory touch, and motor skills.

Rainbow rice sensory bins can be used for other skill areas like handwriting by adding color words and asking kids to copy the word that they find in the sensory bin.

Rainbow Worksheets: The members in The OT Toolbox membership know that we have many rainbow worksheets that support a variety of skill areas. There are handwriting activities, coloring tasks, fine motor activities, scissor tasks, rainbow crafts, rainbow self regulation activities, rainbow sensory bin materials, and much more. Like all of the materials in The OT Toolbox membership, our rainbow worksheets support hands-on skill building through play.

Rainbow Visual Motor Activities

Visual Motor integration activity using a marker ladder activity

Rainbow Ladder– Use this rainbow visual motor activity to work on visual scanning, visual tracking, visual figure ground, form constancy, visual discrimination, and other visual motor skills needed for handwriting and reading. We used this in a cursive handwriting activity, but you could use the same concept in teaching upper and lowercase letter identification, number writing, sight words, or other multi-sensory learning strategies.

Copy a rainbow visual motor activity

Rainbow Drawing Visual Motor Activities– Use this occupational therapy teletherapy slide deck to encourage kids to copy rainbow drawing forms and build pencil control, visual perceptual skills with simple and complex drawing skills.

Emotion Matching Game– Use this rainbow matching game to teach emotions and social emotional developmental milestones and skills. It’s a powerful way to work on visual perceptual skills too, including visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, and other visual motor skills.

Colors Pre-Writing Pencil Mazes

Rainbow Colors Pre-writing Lines Mazes– These mazes are great for developing pencil control, eye-hand coordination skills, fine motor dexterity, and visual motor skills.

Rainbow Sensory Play

When kids participate in sensory play experiences, they develop tactile sensory exposure and can explore tactile experiences. Use these activities to learn colors, and learn through play! Try these multisensory learning activities to teach colors, and develop sensory exploration through play.

rainbow breathing exercise

Rainbow Deep Breathing Exercise– Use this rainbow deep breathing exercise as a calming self regulation activity to help with coping strategies and mindfulness.

Rainbow Sensory Bottle– In this rainbow sensory bottle, we used friendship thread to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow, but making a calming sensory bottle can use any materials you have on hand. Use the sensory bottle as a calming sensory tool.

Rainbow Playdough– When kids play with play dough, they gain proprioceptive input through their hands and fingers. This heavy work input is a powerful resistive activity that “wakes up” the hands but also can be calming.

Rainbow Sensory Bins– Making rainbow sensory bins are easy but there are big benefits. Kids can use sensory bins as a tactile sensory experience, but with fine motor benefits like tool use, scooping sorting, fine motor precision, dexterity, manipulation skills, coordination, and so much more. Add sight words and high-frequency words, or math manipulatives to use these rainbow sensory bins in multi-sensory learning opportunities.

Gold Coin Sensory Bin– Use a sensory bin base and add some ribbons and the yellow pieces from a Connect 4 game for a sensory bin.

rainbow xylophone

Rainbow Xylophone– Kids can explore sound, STEAM concepts, and motor skills in this auditory processing activity.

Rainbow Crafts to develop skills

These rainbow crafts are powerful ways to work on fine motor skills, manipulation of tools, dexterity, strength, motor planning skills, handwriting, and more.

Rainbow binoculars craft– Kids can make this rainbow binoculars craft and work on scissor skills, bilateral coordination motor planning, and precision. Then, use this rainbow craft to encourage visual scanning, visual perceptual skills, and more. Can you use this in a color scavenger hunt?

Egg carton rainbows– Use a recycled egg carton and kids can paint in this process art activity that develops grasp, precision, eye-hand coordination, and sensory experiences.

Rainbow Snacks

When children are active in the kitchen, they develop so many fine motor skills, executive functioning skills. The kitchen is a prime location for developing working memory, attention, direction following, as well as offering learning opportunities, as well. Fine motor skills in the kitchen are just some of the benefits of cooking with kids!

Try these rainbow recipes that kids can make and are a perfect addition to a rainbow theme.

Rainbow Snacks– These rainbow snack cups are perfect snacks for preschool. When kids help to make them, they can work on cutting foods, sorting, visual scanning, and fine motor skills, too!

Color Snack– Pair kitchen activities with a popular children’s book to explore colors and developing skills in the kitchen with kids.

Colors Handwriting Kit

Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

  • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
  • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
  • Colors Roll & Write Page
  • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
  • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
  • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
  • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

More Rainbow Ideas

For more rainbow crafts and ideas to support development of skills, check out the Spring themed activities in our Spring Crafts library. There are fun ways to use a paper plate to create a rainbow while working on scissor skills…and just so many other Spring tools for supporting the development of kids of all ages.

Free Printable List of Rainbow Activities

One tool we have in The OT Toolbox membership club is therapy themes. Rainbow themed activities is one of them! We’ve put together a list of rainbow activities that can be used in therapy sessions to build skills and created a printable therapy lesson plan.

This resource is a hit with therapy providers because they can pull out the sheet and plan their week of therapy sessions with just a handful of activities. This printable is inside The Membership Club but you can grab a copy here as well. Enter your email address into the form below and we’ll send it to you.

Rainbow Lesson Plan for Therapy

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    Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

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