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Friday, March 9, 2012

Rainbow Streamers in Preschool

This week was Letter R in preschool, and because of this I decided to do a Rainbow Theme.  I found lots of fun ideas to try, and we were pleased with most all of them.

One activity we especially enjoyed was our Rainbow Streamers.  I got the idea from a combination of two different places.

This pin from Pinterest:
Source: pre-schoolplay.blogspot.com via Julie on Pinterest 

and this post at Sense of Wonder talking about using streamers to learn about the wind.

The Sense of Wonder person used crepe paper as streamers, and the Pre-School Play person used plastic the she got from a "recycling bank".  (I've heard about these recycling centers from different bloggers in England and in Australia, and they really sound like wonderful places).

But alas, I have no such recycling bank, so I went to my new favorite and cheap material:  plastic tablecloths from the dollar store.

I got one tablecloth of each of the rainbow colors (and yes, I know this picture is sideways.  I keep rotating in my photo editing software, but then when I copy it here it goes sideways on me again.  I just don't know - my iPhone pictures seem to have trouble turning the right way sometimes.):

Then I used my handy paper cutter to cut the tablecloth into 1"strips.  At first I made streamers that were the  full length of the longest side of the tablecloth (108"), and while these were wonderful streamers, I deemed that they would be too long for the Little People.

So instead I made 54" streamers.  Since the tablecloths are 54" x 108", you can make 54 streamers if you cut them as long as the long side of the cloth, or 108 if you cut them short.  The only warning I have is to watch out if you have tablecloths coming from different stores/manufacturers.  Not all tablecloths are folded the same, and if not careful to check how each kind of folded you can end up with lots of short pieces.

Once I got my steamers cut, I folded them in half lengthwise and attached them with this simple knot to the curtain ring in rainbow-order.  (I just learned from the Internet that this is called a lark's head knot - learn something new every day.)   You will want to keep the knots loose, because you need them loose to be able to add the glue easily.  If you do as I did and tighten them at first, you will just need to loosen them later:

Once you have them on there and nice and loose, scoot them away from the bottom center of the ring:

Then place a dab of glue on the outside and inside of the ring and slide the streamers back over the glue.  I used Alene's craft glue.  Well, at first I used hot glue, but not surprisingly, it melted right through the plastic.  Once the streamer is over the glue, you can tighten up the knots, which will get the glue worked into the knot a little bit and secure it.

Here are the knots all tightened up:

And here are all the streamers ready for their car ride to school:

As you might imagine, the Little People have just loved the Rainbow Streamers.  They ran with them, let the wind blow them around, and threw them in the air to watch the streamers fly to the ground.

We still used the long set of streamers, but only as a wind-catcher on one of the playground trees. Of course, it was only a few minutes after I put it up there that I noticed a small cluster of the Little People standing solemnly around it with their hands on their heart saying the pledge of allegiance...  and while I could talk about how improper it might be or not be to say the pledge allegiance to something other than a real flag, I have to say first that I thought the association was clever of them.

To the best of my calculations, each streamer only cost $.14 each, which I think is pretty good, especially considering that $.08 of that is for the shower curtain ring.  That's not very much money for a lot of rainbow fun for the Little People.


  1. Hi Julie! Your blog is fantastic! I've found you via Pinterest and I'm so glad I did. :)

  2. Your blog is adorable and I love this idea! I am so happy to now follow you!

    I have a race to the rainbow activity that you "might" be able to use with your little ones. I would love for you to come visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  3. Found this via Pinterest... thanks for the inspiration! My daughter has a wood-and-fabric streamer but this all-plastic version would be great for some in-the-rain dancing. :)

  4. Hi Julie! I was curious if you could tell me where you got your tablecloths from?

  5. use picmonkey.com to rotate your pic and save it you your computer. :)