My kiddos have recently become obsessed with creating- and nothing makes my heart happier. They love to color, paint, build and draw- and their recent obsession with rainbows is playing perfectly into my Saint Patricks Day plans. We threw a little Saint Patricks Day Rainbow craft lunch, and they had a blast!
Throwing a craft lunch should be easy, fun, and embrace different creative methods. We practiced reciting colors and learning about textures, as well as honing in our coloring, gluing, and cutting skills. While this seems like a pretty basic project, it was perfectly balanced for a toddler (my kids are aged almost 2 and 3 1/2.)
When doing a project, we like to tape down kraft paper to our kitchen table. I find this makes things a little bit more relaxed- you won’t worry about kids making a big mess, and it lets them color outside the lines a bit (without adding lots of scrubbing for you when playtime is done.) We started off our little lunch doodling on the paper, while I had the kiddos help make some special rainbow quesadillas, one at a time.
To make the rainbow, I put four drops of food coloring (and a drop of water) in four dishes- one for each color. I then took a foodsafe paintbrush (Wilton has great foodsafe brushes- you can find them at most craft or cake supply stores) and painted a quick rainbow in food coloring on one half of a tortilla. Let it sink in for a minute to dry.
When dry, set out some shredded cheese, chicken, broccoli, or any other filling your kids like in their quesadillas. I encourage my kids to fill theirs with anything they like, and ask them about the colors and shape of each filling as they go. Having them help “cook” gets them interested in trying different foods, and learn about cooking. They absolutely love helping in the kitchen- and this is a perfect activity to get them started.
Cook your quesadilla in a pan for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. I was worried the quesadilla would discolor when cooking, but it was just fine. The kids thought the bright colors were so cool, and loved that quesadillas are perfectly rainbow shaped!
While we noshed, I printed out some fun rainbow printables. You can download them free at the bottom of the page.
Bridget, my almost 2 year old, wasn’t really interested in coloring inside the lines or even sticking to a rainbow shape. No worries- let them express themselves however they feel the most comfortable! Finn, my 3 1/2 year old, asked me to start off his rainbow. I colored in lines for each color and he helped fill in the rest.
When we had it all colored in, I helped each kid cut out their rainbows. Finn roughly cut his out and had me get a perfect shape, and Bridget just had me hold her hands and help make the cutting motions. They are starting to get interested in scissors, and really like to use them. I was afraid to have them start trying them out thinking they would think they can use scissors whenever they want, but by encouraging them to try them with mommy, they now just ask to use them with me. I’ve found with most dangerous things (like cooking over the stove, using a knife, or scissors)- the more I get them to participate with me, the less alluring they are on their own. The kids know that nothing is really off limits if they ask to participate with mommy or daddy, and it makes forbidden items less interesting.
I then coated the clouds with some tacky glue and poured out a bunch of cotton balls. The kids LOVED gluing them in. Making clouds was just about the coolest thing ever! I see a lot of cloud/snowman/santa beard creating in our future!
By the time we were done gluing, everyone had pretty much finished up our quesadilla snacks, and we moved on to cleanup while diving into some delicious pot of gold ice cream sundaes. After the rainbow comes a pot of gold, right? The star shaped thrilled them- and they are now completely smitten with the idea of pots of gold.
The day was a big hit- and the kids loved practicing their color recognition, talking about shapes, and flexing their newfound cutting, gluing, and coloring skills. And I loved how quick and easy it was to set up and clean up!
If you’d like to download the very basic rainbow and cloud template I designed, please Download rainbow printable.jpg