Child's Play Parents Guide: Rainbow Theme


Kids play ideas for babies and toddlers

Musical instrument storytime:

You can read to your child right from the start and they will love it! As they get older they will have favourite books (yes, you will read the same one repeatedly) and stories they can participate with are extra fun. We have a number of books that have a repetitive verbal response but the book I chose for this activity requires some percussion!

musical instruments with kids

Making instruments for your children is very easy – I’ve used old tea tins with various items in them but old vitamin pots work well too.  If the container can be easily opened, and you have a younger child, you should glue/tape them shut – this will prevent choking and also minimise mess.

musical instruments with toddlers

Let your child experiment with the instrument – if they are older you can show them what’s inside.  We talked about the colours of the tins and different ways we could make ‘music’ with them.  We look at how each tin made a different sound when you shook it but sounded similar if you used it as a drum.

Here’s a video of us having story time with our instruments – this is a story my younger son loves so he was very excited to have an instrument to play.  Older siblings can join in too, you could encourage them to recognise body parts or count, depending on the story.

 Rainbow movement activity

Matching colours – flash card play: 

Flash cards are a great tool to use as your child grows up as they can be adapted to the level your child is at.  For this activity, I’ve created flashcards to represent colours but using an image that can also be matched too.  You can use any colours/images you would like.

For younger babies these cards would be idea placed near the change table, so that you can talk to your baby as you change them (black and white are also really good for small babies).  For older children, you can do a similar exercise to the one in the pictures.

Colour cards

First you need to create the flash cards – I picked four colours and shapes, photographed them, printed, cut and laminated them – wipe clean has it’s advantages!

kids playing with fruit

Show the cards to your child – you can talk about the colours and objects, shapes, flavours – use lots of descriptive words.  We used a box of wooden fruit and I asked Harry to find the colours that matched the pictures.

toddler play

With older children wait and see how they will lead, they may focus on colour, shape, type – you can play lots of different games.  You could also create card with different numbers of images, for the next stage of your child’s development.

Rainbow Sensory Activity

Silly Spaghetti

Playing with cooked spaghetti is a wonderful sensory experience for your child but it can get very messy so definitely use a splash mat or head outside!  (This is a safe craft if your child likes to put objects in their mouth too – always useful!)

spaghetti play with toddlers

For this craft you will need:

  • Spaghetti – a couple of packets is good
  • Food colouring
  • Sealable bags
  • Large container (I’ve used a washing up bowl)
  • Optional things to hide for older children, I used duplo bricks)

This is a craft you can prep with your child or prepare it for them, involve them as much as is age appropriate.

Cook your pasta as per packet instructions and allow to cool a little before putting into individual bags.  Add food colouring and some of the cooking water and massage the bag until the colour has spread – your child could help you do this if the spaghetti is cool enough.

green pasta

Make as many different colours as you want – you could talk to your child about their favourite colours or explain what happens when you mix different colours together.  Make sure you rinse each colour of spaghetti well before the next stage or your child will end up covered in food colouring!

pasta bags with different colours

Place the spaghetti into a large container and set your child free!  This can get very messy so old clothes or overalls are a good idea – we opted for outside play too!  You can talk to your child about what the spaghetti feel like, it’s length and colour.  I asked Harry to hide the blocks then find them again.  If you have a younger child your could place their feet in the container or pass them a small pile of spaghetti to feel.

spaghetti play with kids

Place the spaghetti into a large container and set your child free!  This can get very messy so old clothes or overalls are a good idea – we opted for outside play too!  You can talk to your child about what the spaghetti feel like, it’s length and colour.  I asked Harry to hide the blocks then find them again.  If you have a younger child your could place their feet in the container or pass them a small pile of spaghetti to feel.

Let your child have a free reign with the spaghetti – ours ended up all over the deck with lots of laughter and fun!!