Colourful Explorations

Colourful Explorations

There has been so much play with the gorgeous Grimm’s rainbow recently, that I thought the children might enjoy some colourful invitations. Here is what we’ve been up to over the last couple of weeks (it’s a bit of a bumper post as I didn’t share pics last week – sorry!)…



I have a huge collection of books and try to share ones I think that will be relevant when we are focusing on something in particular. These are ones we’ve enjoyed when enjoying colour and pattern…

Books we've shared when enjoying colour and pattern activities - from Rachel (",)


Discovery Table

A variety of colourful resources to explore…

Colourful resources on the Discovery Table from Rachel (",)

Lots of transient art with these resources…

Transient art with the colourful resources on the Discovery Table (",)


Some of them enjoyed having a go at matching the loose parts to the colour wheels and we also created a rainbow…

Colour wheels and rainbow from Rachel (",)


Colourful Transient Art

I added the stacking rainbow, wooden semi-circles, felt circles, glass pebbles and buttons…

Transient art and other creations with the stacking rainbow, wooden semi-circles and colourful loose parts - from Rachel (",)

I loved this creativity, done completely independently…

Creativity with the stacking rainbow, wooden semi-circles, felt circles and loose parts - from Rachel (",)


Black & White

I also provided an invitation to create transient art with black & white resources…

Transient art with black and white loose parts from Rachel (",)


Transient Art Rainbow Tree

Branches and the colourful loose parts…

Transient art rainbow tree from Rachel (",)


Hole Punching Rainbow Colours

Hole punching rainbow colours from Rachel (",)


Coloured Water, Pipettes & Soap Suction Pads

Using fine motor skills to drop coloured water onto the suction pads with the pipettes - from Rachel (",)


Pretend Face Painting

Cheap nail varnish poured into cheap paint palettes and left to set is great for pretending to paint faces or put on make up. They all loved this…

Dramatic play - face painting and make up with a pretend colour palette from Rachel (",)


Rainbow Rice

Rainbow rice play from Rachel (",)


Maths Opportunities

Rainbow peg people, bugs, ‘dominoes’, Numicon and numbers…

Colourful maths play from Rachel (",)

Here’s a close up of the resources…

Colourful resources for maths play from Rachel (",)


Sorting Pom-Poms

Sorting pom-poms from Rachel (",)


Sorting Colours

… and fine motor skills…

Colour sorting and fine motor fun from Rachel (",)


Sensory Rainbow Basket

Beads, pom-poms, glass pebbles, buttons, tweezers, colourful spoons & dishes…

Rainbow basket from Rachel (",)


Colour on the OHP

Colour on the OHP from Rachel (",)


Light Panel Play

Plastic cups, plates & dishes (from Ikea), silicone cake cases, swizzle sticks and laminated cellophane…

Colourful play on the light panel from Rachel (",)

Tissue Paper and Glass Pebbles

Tissue paper and glass pebbles on the light panel from Rachel (",)


More Colour on the OHP

Colour on the OHP from Rachel (",)


Crayon Rocks

These are brilliant for strengthening tripod grip muscles…

Crayon rocks from Rachel (",)


Rainbow Laces on Homemade Threading Discs

Laces and homemade threading wood slices - from Rachel (",)


Sand Patterns on a Mirror Tray

They loved revealing the mirror below as they created the patterns. The link to download the pattern cards is below this image…

Patterns in colourful sand on a mirror tray - FREE printable path cards from Rachel (",)

Pattern cards: Mark making Pattern Cards from Rachel (“,)


Building & Creating on the Finger Gym

As the reels and sticks were really popular on the light panel last week, I moved them to the Finger Gym. I added coloured craft sticks and plastic reels to the natural wooden ones…

Reels, craft sticks and glass pebbles on the Finger Gym from Rachel (",)


Dough Play 

A few colourful loose parts added to the continuous provision…

Plain dough with colourful loose parts from Rachel (",)


Pets & People Small World Play

Specifically requested!

Pets and people play from Rachel (",)


A Couple of Permanent Colourful Areas 

I thought I’d share a couple of the areas that we have as part of our continuous provision in the classroom…

Painting Station

We’ve had our painting station for a few months now and the children love it. The paint is in cheap hand wash bottles and we’ve just provided the primary colours and black and white so that they can learn to mix their own colours. There is a child-height sink and draining board next to the area, so they are able to  wash up their mixing dishes when they’ve finished…

Paint station from Rachel (",)

We wrap the tops in cling film at the end of each day, to prevent the spouts from drying up…

Wrap the tops of the 'paint dispensers' in cling film at the end of the day to prevent them from drying up - from Rachel (",)


Mark Making Resources

… I’ve organised them according to colour for a couple of years. The paint charts support the colour matching…

Organised according to colour - from Rachel (",)


Thanks for reading!

Grimms rainbow & semi circles with colourful pom-pics and glass pebbles from Rachel (",)

Don’t forget that you can also find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter &  Pinterest

Would love you to come & say hello! 🙂 

– Rachel (“,)

Colour charts and glass pebbles from Rachel (",)


  1. Wow so much colour to explore. Looks amazing! I would love to see photos of your storage, you have so many lovely resources and looks all so organised, where do you keep it, at home or school?

  2. I love your work! I teach special needs preschool in Canada and am always amazed how you create your centers! How do you keep all your materials organized? Like pompoms and glass beads? Do you keep them separated by colour? I would love to come over and visit you and your class one day….maybe I can get it covered through professional development… (haha) please keep being amazing and thank you for your inspiration! You make me a better educator.

    • Thanks for the lovely comment Tracey!
      If you look at the links in the reply I made to Alesha (just above your comment), you can how I store some of my things. If I have a large collection of something (such a glass pebbles), I do store them according to colour. At school they are in jars on shelves, but at home they are in ziplock bags in labelled boxes. I tend to organise things according to what they are – e.g. small world, counting manipulatives, Christmas, hearts, buttons, beads etc The pics in the links above might better show you.
      Thank you again for the lovely comment 🙂

  3. Amazing ideas once again- thank you. They are so inspiring. I bet your children get the most wonderful experience coming to Nursery.

    • Oh, thank you very much Natalie! 😀

  4. A-MA-ZING!! I just love everything here!!! 🙂
    I was wandering how you propose all the materials to the kids, I mean do you put everything out on Monday until Friday, or do you change what’s in the different areas a bit during the week? Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful ideas with us!!

    • Thank you, Myriam!
      Whenever I set up new areas I introduce them to the children. We sit in a circle and I (or my TA) bring the resources into the centre. We talk about them and how they might like to use them (although they can use them how they choose). I find that they respond very well to this.
      I usually change them weekly – often on a Thursday or Friday. Sometimes I set up the area with a group of children, sometimes I do it at a lunchtime or after school when they’re not there.
      If interest in an area remains, I either keep it out, or move the resources to another place so that they can continue to use them.
      Hope that helps!
      Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  5. Hi I absolutely love your page and get so much inspiration from it. I’m currently trying to build up my bank of resources and was wondering how you manage to have so many good quality resources, is it school funded, through fund raising etc? I do quite a lot of fund raising events for my class but always feel that the parents expect large items of furniture etc to be bought! Do you have any advice for building up the smaller resources and prioritising what to get?! Thanks

    • Hi Zoe, thanks for the lovely comment!
      Many of the resources you see are my own and go with me where I go. I’ve been teaching for 25 years so have had a loooong time to collect things (I’ve spent an absolute fortune over the years!), plus my mum and great aunt were teachers, so I’ve also inherited things from them.
      In my previous school (my school merged with another in September & it’s different now), we had a separate Foundation Stage budget, which was spent very wisely on a range of open-ended resources.
      Our PTA gives each class £100 cash at the beginning of the year, to spend on the class how we wish (a list & receipts kept).
      We are also lucky to have a fund that the parents voluntarily pay into (you would have to get permission from your Headteacher for this). They pay 50p per week on a half termly basis (so a 7 week half term means that those who choose to pay, pay £3.50) for consumable items, which really builds up and adds enormously to the opportunities I’m able to provide for the children. (Again, list & receipts kept.) I know of many schools that do this.
      Fund raising is a good idea, but perhaps you should make it clear that as the curriculum is so practical & you want to provide rich opportunities/experiences for the children, it’s for resources not furniture.
      When you do buy resources, go for open ended things that can be used in many ways – I love my wooden cakes, but they can only ever be cakes, buttons can be used for counting, pattern making, as the base of a sensory box/small world area, to enhance dough etc etc. Think how the resources could be used differently in all your areas.
      Hope that helps a bit!

  6. Hi Rachael,

    Good luck for the new term! Do you wash out the soap dispensers weekly or do you keep the paint in them permanently? Does the cling film keep the paint from drying out for such a long time?

    Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas!!

    • Hi Joanne,
      We don’t actually use them anymore (now use squeezy bottles), but from memory, we put cling film on them every day & then soaked the dispensers in a bowl of water over the weekend. It worked fine.
      It became a bit of a faff though, which is why we switched to the squeezy bottles 🙂


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