Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Alphabet Quiet Book: R is for Rainbow

This post is the twentieth in a series about the alphabet quiet book I'm making with the girls for preschool this year. To read the introduction, click here, and to read the rest of the posts (updated on a weekly basis) click the "Quiet Book" label on the right.

R is for Rainbow 
I might have packed a few too many things into this single quiet book page! Early on, I knew that I'd be making R for Rainbow, and that we'd also be learning some basic color theory along with it. When it came to actually designing the page, at first I had too few ideas, and then after I got working on sketches the ideas just kept coming.

Wouldn't it be fun, I thought, to make the rainbow flowing down onto an artist's palette? And the paint blobs could button on and off the page! And wouldn't it be cool to have bead raindrops coming down from the rainbow's cloud so you could see how the rainbow was created? When it comes to that, wouldn't it be even more amazing to make those raindrops little prisms so that when you shine a light through them, you can make an actual light rainbow? Well, yes, all that would be neat. And somehow it all came together to make this one page!

Inspiration and Page Design
There are a number of rainbow quiet book pages I found that I really liked, especially this one by Tanya with color matching buttons. I also liked the paint palette pages, including the one from Gray's felt book on Life Lesson Plans. Because I wanted my page to be about learning the names and order of the colors of the rainbow, I decided to combine these two ideas into something new.

As part of the basic color theory we're learning, I embroidered the acronym "Roy G. Biv" on each corresponding color of the rainbow. Roy G. Biv, in case you haven't heard it before, stands for "Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet."

Since we were going all out with rainbows on this page, I even appliqued the R and r on with some multi-colored thread I had leftover from another project.

Conveniently, the word Rainbow has as many letters as it has colors! I embroidered the word with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I probably made the letters a little too big, since they ran into the edge of the page, but the effect is still extremely cheerful and rainbowy.

For the artist's palette, first I appliqued the felt palette on, and sewed the felt paint blobs. After I laid them all out, I saw where the rainbow stripes would need to go, so then I cut out the rainbow and sewed it on, left to right. Last of all I sewed on the buttons and buttoned on the paints. My colorful button supply was lacking, so I ordered these inexpensive buttons from Ebay. A note of caution - about 15 of the buttons arrived smashed in the mail, and the international shipping was extremely slow. The crystal raindrops also came in a small packet from China, but they arrived weeks before the buttons. But they were still worth the $3 I spent, and the color assortment was lovely.

I made the paint spots by fusing two small pieces of felt together with Wonder Under in between. Then I cut organic shapes, free-handing them with scissors. I sewed the edges and button holes all by hand with embroidery floss, since I didn't want to fuss with such tiny pieces on my sewing machine.

The button holes and paint circles are fairly small for my 2-year-old Laurel's fingers, but my 4-year-old Annie enjoys buttoning and unbuttoning the paints from the page.

I got the idea to make the raindrops from little prisms from watching the morning sunshine make rainbows all over the room through the crystal beads on our dining room chandelier. These raindrops are teardrop crystals that I also ordered from Ebay. I strung them onto crochet thread, tied knots between each bead, and then sewed the ends of the thread into the page. After they were all attached, I sewed on the felt clouds.

Although I knew the girls could probably find a flashlight to shine through the raindrops on their own, I wanted to include one with the page so it would be self-contained. After looking through the dollar store, the smallest light I found was a LED/laser pointer combo. The size was perfect, and the laser pointer made beautiful kaleidoscope patterns as the crystals broke up its beam. As I thought about it overnight, however, I decided I really didn't want my kids to blind each other with the laser pointer, so I reluctantly nixed that idea. Fortunately that very day a friend gave the girls some freebie LED key chain lights without laser pointers as part of a grad school promotion, so our problem was solved!

It's hard to photograph the rainbows we can make with the little light and crystal raindrops, but it definitely works, especially in a dark room.

Preschool goals with the Rainbow page
  • Learn the names and order of the colors of the rainbow. 
  • Learn the acronym "Roy G. Biv". 
  • Learn about mixing primary colors to create secondary colors. 
  • Practice buttoning and unbuttoning. 
  • Learn about how rainbows are made by white light shining through water or prisms.


  1. This is the most amazing quiet book I have ever seen! (X1000!)

  2. I'm not associated with this website at all but I think you should submit your book to the Quiet Book Blog! You'll blow us all out of the water :+)

    Will you consider sharing your templates? They're just too amazing,