Today I had a rainbow-themed program and it turned out a lot better than I had anticipated. I am going to admit something here – I try very hard to do a lot of fun and cool programming, and I think I am generally successful but sometimes a program just doesn’t feel like it is coming together and that is hard for me. I’m the kid who liked getting 100% scores on tests so I want every program to be an amazing program, and it just isn’t possible. Today I was facing a perfect storm of not being confident in my program as well as an actual winter storm warning starting just an hour before my program. I set up the room and then didn’t prep much else because I thought I would have no attendance due to the weather. Well the snow didn’t start up until the evening and I actually had a dozen people show up and everything went fine.
I had planned a rainbow-themed program as St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, but then I really struggled to find what activities I wanted to do so I ended up with art and science (oh and food because who can say no to the opportunity to make rainbow cake?) Also in case you were wondering, you cannot make a rainbow with a prism on a cloudy day even if you try using the flashlight in your phone because the batteries in the emergency flashlight are low and the light isn’t bright enough.
For our first activity we colored coffee filters with markers and sprayed them with a water bottle. I let the kids do it because they love to use the squirt bottle and the paper dries really quickly so it doesn’t matter if they drench it. I discouraged them from using brown and black so it wouldn’t get too muddy looking.
For our second activity I brought back the skittle rainbows. About half of the kids claimed they had done this before but it still took the a bit of time to arrange their skittles. I passed out the cups of water to the adults and made everyone wait to pour at the same time. There were a lot of parents taking pictures and video of the experiment too.
For our third activity I purchased these rainbow bookmark sets from Melissa and Doug on amazon. I didn’t do any myself, but the ones the kids made looked very nice and it was worth it to me to have the pre-cut ribbons and a stylus tool for each kid. While the kids were working on their bookmarks I cut the surprise rainbow cake and served 7Up with rainbow ice cubes (one ice cube of red, yellow, green, and blue) to drink. The shelver, code name Luna, helped serve the treats and helped prep the final activity by mixing cups of baking soda and jello together.
Our last activity was the classic baking soda and vinegar with a twist. I instructed the kids to scoop the colored baking soda/jello mixtures onto their plates and passed out a cup of vinegar for each table and one pipette for each kid. They used the pipettes to introduce the vinegar to the baking soda with made bright rainbow colors and didn’t smell awful. As I walked around I talked with kids about the science behind the experiments and passed around a prism as well. The kids left with smiles, and the cake practically disappeared so I will consider it a success.
Activity 1: Coffee Filter Art
Activity 2: Skittles Rainbow
Activity 3: Rainbow Bookmarks
Activity 4: Baking Soda/Jello & Vinegar