Rainbow of Fun: Colorful Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Colors and spring go hand-in-hand. And what could be better for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day than learning all about rainbows?! Learning about colors is one of my favorite preschool activities. There’s just something joyful about a bright and beautiful rainbow. So, with rainbows in mind, here are a few fun ways to incorporate colorful activities into our playtime!

These are fun and inexpensive colorful activities for preschoolers and kindergartners who only need a few items, and they may be things you already have at home!

Along with warmer spring weather also comes rain! So, indoor activities are especially critical on those rainy and dreary days when you can’t play in the backyard or head to the park. Check out these four great rainbow activities that can be done anywhere!

1. Rainbow Rice Garden

Rice is easier to clean than sand and tastes better if your toddlers put some in their mouths! Plus, dying the rice is a fun, interactive science project!

The colorful rainbow rice garden pictured above comes from Share and Remember. It’s the perfect outdoor spring and summer activity or can be transferred indoors on a rainy day for fun. It’s a sensory-rich, color-fun activity for toddlers and preschoolers.


  • Uncooked rice 
  • Quart or gallon-size Ziploc bags
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors 
  • Cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper


  1. Divide the rice evenly among the Ziploc bags (However many colors you want to make is how many bags you need).
  2. Have your toddler add a few drops of color to the bag.
  3. Seal the bag and mix the color with the rice by squishing and shaking the bag.
  4. Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper and lay the rice out to dry.

Once the rice is dry, mix the colors together and add things like cups, spoons, measuring cups, funnels, silk flowers, child gardening tools, plastic bugs, etc. 

2. Rainbow Xylophone

What could be easier and more magical than a rainbow xylophone? This colorful activity is a great way to entertain your kid as you prep dinner. It’s also an excellent way to reuse plastic bottles!

We found this fun activity courtesy of Mombrite.com!


  • 6 glasses all the same size (Use 8 classes if you want to try to create a full scale!)
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • A wooden mallet


  • Fill all the glasses with varying amounts of water—the more water, the lower the sound. 
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to each glass to create six different colors.
  • Use a spoon to stir the colors gently
  • Arrange the glasses in order from most to least to form a scale
  • Encourage your toddler to hit the glasses with the mallet to make music gently

Any time you can mix music and color fun together is a big win in my book!

3. Found Object Color Wheel

Scavenger hunt meets art in this found object color-fun wheel project from New Creation Preschool. 

Found objects activities are among my favorites for enhancing creativity! Not only do these activities spark your child’s imagination, but they also provide a lesson in repurposing items. Send your little one to find objects around the house of different colors to use in creating this colorful and creative art project!


  • A large piece of cardboard or paper
  • Tempra or finger paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue
  • Found Objects


  • Prep the color wheel ahead of time. You can choose to do this with or without your toddler’s help.
  • Allow time for the wheel to dry. 
  • Send your kid on a search for found objects of different colors.
    • If you prefer not to have your toddler rummaging around the house for items, create a “Found Objects” bin by mixing buttons, colorful feathers, plastic toys, pom-poms, sequins, scraps of colored paper, etc.
  • Cover the wheel in glue and encourage your child to add items to the corresponding color.

4. Tie-Dye

Kids love tie-dye, and it’s the ultimate color-fun activity! They love making it, and they love wearing it! Tie-dye may be a little messy for some people to do inside, but we’ve managed it with a large piece of cardboard and plastic sheeting!

Target sells an excellent beginner’s Tie-dye kit for $10 (that’s what my son is using here), and we purchased a pack of five Hanes Tank tops for an additional $10.50. However, this kit could have easily made close to 15-20 kids’ shirts or tanks!


  • Tie-dye kit
  • Water
  • Plastic sheeting or cardboard
  • White Ts or Tanks (or whatever you feel like tie-dyeing!)


  1. Prepare your area by covering it with cardboard, plastic sheeting, or both
    • This kit came with the sheeting, smocks, and gloves.
  2. Prep the dye following the kit’s instructions.
  3. Use the rubber bands in the kit to tie off different sections of the shirts.
  4. Apply the dye and follow the kit’s instructions on washing and drying!

Are you looking for more color-fun? Then check out one of our many colorific games!

Updated March 1, 2024, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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