Spring brings rainstorms, rainbows and bright colors. Every year, without fail, the end of the year comes and I am looking for rainbow-themed activities to keep little fingers and minds busy! This Rainbow Fine Motor Activity is the perfect thing to pull out in the spring, either at your kitchen table with your babies or in your classroom as a station. It’s the perfect fine motor activity that can keep babes busy and minds buzzing!

– Life Over C's Photo collage showing a rainbow fine motor activity using pipe cleaners.

Recommended Grade Level:

Life Cycle of a Butterfly Craft Supplies:

  • Paper Plate
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Pasta: Shell, Rotini, Farfalle
  • Rice
  • Ruler

Why Use the Rainbow Fine Motor Activity?

There are so many reasons this Rainbow Fine Motor Activity is a great one for kids. As a mom, I know there are days when you have things you just HAVE to get done around the house. And with little feet running around, it can be hard to get chores done. I love things like this Rainbow Fine Motor Activity for moments like that. It is engaging for kids, but it’s also easy to prep and made with materials that are cheap to buy or easy to find around the house. Plus, if you are learning about about rainbows it makes a perfect addition to your lessons.

Fine motor skills are important for a variety of reasons, from strengthening tracking skills and forging better writers- you can read all about what makes fine motor skill development so helpful to overall development. You can look up a lot of skills that help with sensory input and fine motor practice on our main page. The absolute best part of sensory activities is that kids are getting input and practice without knowing that they are learning.

Some students or kids will seek out certain textures or temperatures that make them feel good. These kiddos are called sensory seekers. Others may have an issue with an itchy tag or not like the way their new socks feel. When a student displays this kind of avoidant behavior, they are sensory avoidant. Activities with hands-on, tactile items are a great way to incorporate new skills or reinforce what students already know- without making a formal lesson! Kids are learning while “just having fun.”

Check out some of my favorite fine motor activities here:

Materials You Will Need for Rainbow Fine Motor Activity:

  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Beads
  • Bin of some sort
  • Pegboard (either one as pictured, or cardboard shoebox, egg crate or styrofoam with holes poked into it)
– Life Over C's Rainbow colored pipe cleaners, rainbow colored beans, and a small pegboard sitting inside a yellow tray.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Rainbow Fine Motor Activity:

Step One: Gather Your Materials

The absolute genius of this activity is how simple it is. The first thing you’re going to need to do is grab your materials. Find the bin you want to use, as well as the pipe cleaners and beads!

Teacher tip: If you don’t have a board like the one pictured, don’t worry! You can easily poke holes in a shoebox or egg crate with scissors or a screwdriver to create the same effect.

– Life Over C's A blue and a purple pipe cleaner are poked through holes in a pegboard to create arches.

Step Two: Add the Beads and Form the Rainbow

Have students thread their beads onto a pipe cleaner, and arch them into the holes on the board, cardboard or egg crate.

Teacher Tip: If your students are struggling to get the bead onto the pipe cleaner, you can buy beads with a larger hole! You can also encourage students to match colors or make a pattern on the pipe cleaner.

– Life Over C's Rainbow colored pipe cleaners are poked through a pegboard to create a pipe cleaner rainbow.

Step Three: Experiment with Patterns, Length, Matching

Add as many different colored rainbow beams to your board as you want! Remind students that they can add beads in a pattern, or they can color match them to the pipe cleaners. This would be a fun time to cut the pipe cleaners into different lengths, and have the kids experiment with the arch height by putting them in holes that are closer and farther away.

– Life Over C's Rainbow colored pipe cleaners stuck in various holes across the pegboard to create a design.

Yay! You made a Rainbow Pipe Cleaner Fine Art Activity. What Now?

Hopefully, you got enough time to yourself to grade papers, fold laundry, run a small group or help with a classroom task while your student or child did this Rainbow Pipe Cleaner Activity! Another great thing about this activity is that there is nothing to keep or store. As soon as your students are done using this Rainbow Pipe Cleaner Activity, they can disassemble it, and all the supplies can go into storage for next time!

Ways to Adapt/Modify/Differentiate the Rainbow Pipe Cleaner Fine Motor Activity:

Color Identification: This is a great activity to use for color identification because students can slide the correct color bead on their pipe cleaners. What a quick and easy assessment to see if students can correctly identify and match colors! You’ll be able to tell at a glance whether they can differentiate red from orange and blue from purple!

Counting: If you give students the task of adding a certain number of beads to each pipe cleaner, you can assess student counting skills to see if they are able to identify and correctly show the number.

Patterns: You can set a challenge for students to put their beads on each pipe cleaner in a pattern. You can either give them one to match or see if each student can come up with one on their own! How fun to give them a blank piece of paper and color in the patterns after they manipulate the beads!

More Ways to Explore Rainbows

Rainbow units are the best way to thematically bring spring to life in your classroom! So if your kids love this activity, don’t worry. We have you covered!

Frequently Asked Questions

These are frequently asked questions about The Rainbow Fine Art Activity…

Can I use any kind pipe cleaners?

You absolutely can! We used fuzzy pipe cleaners because they provide more tactile input, they’re thicker, and they look fun with the beads on them! But you can use any kind of pipe cleaner you have available to you!

Can I only use this Rainbow Fine Art Activity in the spring?

Even though spring is when we would use a rainbow-themed unit, you can use this whenever you want!

– Life Over C's spring theme math and literacy activities for preschool and pre-k

35+ Spring Math and Literacy Activities

– Life Over C's preschool math and literacy activities for spring
– Life Over C's Spring theme preschool math and literacy activities
– Life Over C's Spring theme preschool math and literacy activities

Included in the Spring Math and Literacy Activities:

  • 2 Sets of Spring Number Mats (empty ten-frame, heart filled ten-frame)
  • Strawberry Beginning Sound Match Up
  • 4 Sets of Spring Clip Cards (color, ten-frame, array, shape)
  • Spring Flower Color Sort
  • Class Set of Spring BINGO
  • 2 Graphing Dice Games (Matching pictures and Numbers 1-6)
  • 2 Spinner Graphing Games
  • Spring Theme Line Tracing Cards & Picture Tracing Cards
  • Line-Up Puzzles for Counting to 5 & 10
  • 4 Matching Games (picture, number, alphabet, rhyme)
  • Strawberry Missing Number Cards
  • 3 Levels of AB Patterns
  • Spring Shape Play Dough Mats
  • 2 Sets of Counting to 10 Puzzles (array, ten-frame)
  • Spring Shape Puzzles
  • 2 Roll and Count Mats
  • 2 Sets of Spring Sorting Activities (shapes and numbers 1-10)
  • 5 Spin & Cover Games (1-5, 6-10, shape, picture)
  • Raindrop Ten-Frame Cards
  • Spring Bugs Tic-Tac-Toe
  • 4 Sets of Tracing Cards (uppercase, lowercase, number, shape)
  • Visual Discernment Clip Cards (What does not belong?)
  • Trace, Write & Draw the Room

Keep this Rainbow Fine Motor Activity on Hand

Whether you’re a busy mom trying to find ten minutes to herself, or a preschool teacher looking to busy little hands and minds, this Rainbow Fine Motor Activity is the perfect activity to keep on hand!

Do you love this activity?

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– Life Over C's Photo showing a pipe cleaner rainbow sensory and fine motor activity.

Fun Rainbow Printables:

More Activities You’ll Love:

Fine Motor Activities to Try:

author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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