Toddler or preschooler craft idea – create a colourful pom pom rainbow for St Patrick’s day, or just as lovely kids’ activity for Spring.
This was one of those crafts that started off as a fail, but ended up as a win.
I’d bought a bag of mixed pom poms* from our local craft store, with the idea that my daughter JJ (who was then 3 years and 1 month old) could practise colour recognition, matching and fine motor skills by pasting pom poms onto a rainbow scene.
I drew a rainbow outline, and was just taking a quick progress photo when I got sprung by JJ before I’d finished the whole set up. (You can see her hand in the first photo, she’d already grabbed a pencil and wanted to colour in).
I asked her to wait while I roughly drew in rainbow colours, and then explained that the idea was for her to paste pom poms on top, matching the pre-drawn colours.
But instead JJ chucked an enormous tantrum.
Apparently I had spoilt her idea. She had wanted to colour in the colours ‘all by herselp’ (herself). She didn’t want to glue on pom poms, she wanted to colour in.
(This is one of my daily challenges. Ideally, I would like to have time to set up activities beforehand, so JJ can ‘discover’ an ‘invitation to play’ without the distractions of a partially set up activity. But since JJ no longer naps, I’m struggling to find set up time. Anyone got any tips?)
So I backed off from my original idea, and instead put a clean piece of paper over the top, roughly traced my rainbow scene again, and left JJ to colour it in. After all, there are plenty of learning opportunities in colouring in, and we could do something else with the pom poms later on.
At first she coloured in by drawing straight lines along the rainbow, just like I had done. She didn’t use the exact rainbow order of colours, but she did choose a different colour for each stripe, naming them as she went. We talked about how a rough zig zag makes a coloured line look bigger. I demonstrated and she tried too (she did the yellow rainbow stripe). She also coloured in the pot of gold.
JJ’s colouring in skills are improving. She used to colour all over the page with abandon in a rough stripy fashion, but now she is capable of denser sections of colour, and is getting closer to being able to stay within the lines. All great fine motor skill development, working on her pre-writing skills.
And then once she’d coloured as much as she wanted, she asked for the pom poms!
So JJ got to do our colour matching and fine motor gluing practise after all.
And here it is, pegged up on our fence, drying in the sun. It would make a nice St Patrick’s Day craft idea, or just a lovely Spring activity – because everyone loves rainbows!
* This post contains an Amazon affiliate link to a similar product to the one used in the post. An affiliate link means I may earn a (tiny) commission if you make a purchase through my link, without any extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little blog afloat. Thanks for your support.
If you are looking for more colour recognition ideas, you might also like our Colour and Shape Boats. Or if you’re more interested in fine motor gluing practise, then you might like our Stick People Community.