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Make a rainbow


Explore the colours in the garden. Make your own artist’s palette of colour by collecting natural materials on a sticky strip on cardboard.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, Art&DT, Geography, Social Studies

Learning objectives

  • Explore your local area or garden and collect natural materials
  • Make links between art and the natural environment


Discover the differences between evergreen and deciduous trees. Look around the garden or open space and see how many of each you can recognise.

Cut card into strips and put a line of double sided tape across the middle.


  • Double sided sticky tape 
  • Card cut into strips 
  • An outside space

Step by step

  1. Ask the children to think of all the colours in a rainbow and the colours they like to draw or paint with
  2. Explain how artists place their paints on a palette and mix them
  3. Go around the garden searching for natural colours and collect tiny pieces of petals, leaves and seeds from the ground. These pieces can be stuck onto a 'sticky strip', like a paint palette
  4. Some children may like to collect various shades of their favourite colour and arrange them from light to dark
  5. Share each other’s garden palettes and see the variety of colours that have been found. Can you line them up to make a rainbow?

Hints & tips

  • Press and dry leaves, petals and flowers in a heavy book. You could laminate them to make a window hanging or bookmark
  • Use this activity as part of Sensory Sensations growing topic

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Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards