Saturday, February 18, 2012

Scrap Paper Rainbows

We have had a shoebox full of valentines sitting in our kitchen all week. My son has loved looking at them, talking about them, and stuffing them back into the box. He also has created stories with them and my daughter has been carrying them all around the house.

After a week of having them on my counter (and everywhere in the house), we decided to try and create a masterpiece with the valentines... and so we came up with these scrap paper rainbows

Materials Needed: scrap paper (valentines or other pieces of paper from around the house), scissors or a paper cutter, glue, colored cardstock, a marker, and some packing peanuts (or cotton balls).

Directions to Make Scrap Paper Rainbows:

1. Cut the valentines or scrap pieces of paper into little squares. Ours were 1 in x1 in.

2. Draw a rainbow outline with markers onto a piece of cardstock.

3. Start designing and gluing the scrap pieces of paper onto the rainbow.

Our rainbow went through several variations until we finally decided what went where. My son had very specific opinions.

4. Cut out the rainbow if you want and mount it onto another piece of cardstock.

5. Add some cotton balls or packing peanut clouds and grab your favorite book about rainbows to read.

I loved this project... especially all of the colors that we discovered as we sorted through our valentines. You probably have noticed that my son's rainbow doesn't look like the perfect rainbow that you usually see in books and crafts. At first I was going to try and cue and prompt him to make his more exact (red, then orange, then yellow, etc.) and then I reminded myself that this was his project and I wanted it to be his rainbow.

I love how it turned out and I think as he continues to learn about rainbows and the ordering of the colors it will be interesting to see how his rainbow designs change.

During this project we talked about... 
- colors
- shapes
- friends (and who gave each valentine and our favorite things about them)
- designs
- weather

Do you ever have that urge to "fix" your child's project to make it more like what you think it should be?

Do you have any favorite rainbow-themed songs, crafts, activities, or books?

Do you have any other favorite ways that you reuse valentines?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Toddler Approved Facebook page!

PS- If you're on Facebook then maybe you saw me mention that today is my wedding anniversary. My handsome husband and I have been married for six years today. I'm sure there was a rainbow in the sky on the beautiful and freezing cold day when we were married in NYC... so this project is perfect for today. :) We will be celebrating all weekend long.

 Hope you have some fun plans this weekend too!! See you back on Monday!


  1. I love this clever idea :) And congratulations!!


  2. These are adorable! I have so much scrap paper...we'll definitely be doing this!

    1. Thanks Heather! We are always trying to find new ways to reuse scrap paper. I feel so horrible throwing out beautiful little pieces!


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