Category Archives: Rainbows

Princess Evie’s Ponies: Indigo the Magic Rainbow Pony by Sarah KilBride and Sophie Tilley

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IMG_0754Princess Evie’s Ponies: Indigo the Magic Rainbow Pony by Sarah KilBride and illustrated by Sophie Tilley, paperback picture book, published by Simon and Schuster in 2012.

Princess Evie and her pet cat, Sparkles, have a stable full of magic ponies who take them on adventures. In Indigo the Magic Rainbow Pony, when they ride through the tunnel of trees they emerge into a world of colours. Evie’s clothes have changed to rainbow colours, and so has Indigo’s coat and mane, and there are beautiful butterflies everywhere. Yet, as they ride on they encounter a drab, grey garden, drained of colour. Evie discovers a map that tells her to find the magic girls and collect their coloured stones to return the colours. So Evie, Indigo and Sparkles set out to do just that.

A fun story with magic, adventure, new friendships, sharing and colour. The illustrations are particularly nice, with lots of detail and lovely colours. My preschooler was immediately drawn to this book because it had silver sparkles and a pony on the front cover. She also liked the shiny pink hearts and lettering of the title. The story containing a princess, magic and rainbows were bonuses. My daughter is very pink and princessy and this is the sort of book that she will ask for repeatedly, until I can’t stand reading it any more. And when I have had enough, she will continue to peruse it herself. With two daughters, I’m working on building my tolerance for magic ponies, fairies, princesses, animals…. I prefer a good giggle book to share, but I have to run with what the kids like, though it will be nice when A can read these types of books herself! This is not a bad book however, it just isn’t my cuppa, and my four year old loved it! This book would particularly appeal to girly girls in the preschooler to lower primary age groups.

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The Rainbow by Flying Colours

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IMG_0758The Rainbow by Flying Colours, paperback first reader, 16 pages, by Cengage Learning Australia, 2004.

This basic Flying Colours reader shows a boy and a girl painting a rainbow. The book is rated at level 1-2, so the language is very easy and repetitive, the text is large and the story extremely simple. The photos were bright and clear. My preschooler had no difficulties reading this book to me, and she seemed to enjoy the progression of painting the rainbow. This early reader is a great way to build reading confidence in young children just starting out on their reading journey.

 

Amazing Baby: Rainbow Fun by Emily Hawkins

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IMG_0755Amazing Baby: Rainbow Fun text by Emily Hawkins with graphics by Mike Jolley and Emma Dodd, boardbook, published by Hardie Grant Egmont in 2008.

This sturdy boardbook introduces babies and toddlers to the colours of the rainbow, one by one. There was minimal text using simple words and rhymes along with simple black outlined graphics. Each double set of pages was a different colour, from red through purple. The pages are also die-cut with decreasing concentric circles in the middle of the pages, until it disappears for the last double page where the colours all come together to form a rainbow. The physical size of the book is also just right for toddlers to hold.

I borrowed this book from the library, and as soon as we got it home, Baby T (14 months) pulled it straight out and starting looking through it. He was fascinated with the circular holes in the pages, and kept putting his hands through them. He also loved the bright colours, and pointed to some of the graphics. I tried to hold it to read to him, but he kept snatching it off me so that he could turn the pages himself. I did read it to my preschooler as well, and she enjoyed it, though it was really a bit young for her. However, she used the simple layout of this book to practice naming the colours in both English and French. She also liked the holes in the pages. I was amazed with how much Baby T liked this book, he has come back to it a number of times, seeking it out from the pile of library books to look at. This book is a fun and engaging introduction to the colours for babies and toddlers.

 

Surprise Rainbow Cake

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This double decker rainbow cake was fun to make and looked great when Big L cut into it (it also tasted really nice).

We started out by making a double quantity of buttercake mix, which in this case was two packet mixes. I sometimes make cakes from scratch and sometimes from packets, depending on cupboard contents, time, and inclination. I happened to have a couple of cake mixes handy, so we mixed them up according to the packet.

In one of my rare moments of organisation, I had previously taken the block of butter out of the fridge to give it plenty of time to soften before mixing up the cake batter. Unfortunately, Big L assumed I’d just forgotten to put it back in the fridge, and tidied it away. So it was hard as a rock when it came time to add it to the mix. Big L suggested that he cut it up for me, and promptly snapped one of our butter knives in two! He then softened it a little in the microwave, but it was still fairly hard when we added it to the bowl, and the batter was a little lumpy as a result, but it didn’t affect the taste at all.

Adding colour to the batter.

Adding colour to the batter.

The kids both wanted to have a go at using the mixer. Neither one of them managed to turn it off prior to lifting it from the bowl…. Must work on that. Once it was finally mixed, I divided the batter into five bowls, with each bowl holding a little less than the one before it, until the batter was gone. I added a few drops of food colouring to each bowl, and the kids mixed the colour in. We had blue, green, yellow, pink and red.

To cook the cake we used a rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper. I used the biggest bowl of batter first, which was blue, and poured it into the base of the tray, spreading it out to the edges. Then I took the next bowl, the green batter, and poured it into the tray in a stripe down the centre of the blue. I continued this with each of the remaining colours in progressively smaller stripes until all the batter was in the tray. Then we popped it in the oven and waited for it to cook.

Ready to cook.

Ready to cook.

Straight from the oven.

Straight from the oven.

The cake really puffed up in the centre of the tray, but that didn’t really matter. Once it was cool, I cut it in half. The inside of the cake looked awesome! I leveled off the top of the cake to make each half reasonably flat on top so that they could be stacked one on top of the other.

After leveling the top of the cake.

After leveling the top of the cake.

Cut in half.

Cut in half.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to spread frosting.

Ready to spread frosting.

 

I normally make icing or butter cream from scratch using icing sugar, but I cheated this time and bought a container of Betty Crocker’s Milk Chocolate Frosting. It saved a bit of time and made the cake very chocolatey.

I spread the chocolate frosting between onto the top of one half of the cake, and then placed the second half on top. I made sure it was all straight, and then I covered the whole cake in frosting, smoothing it out with a spatula. I covered the top of the cake in lines of chocolate freckles. I had some left over, so I added these down the sides of the cake.

Cutting into the cake and revealing the hidden rainbow surprise was very exciting! The cake was very yummy too. A and L got chocolate frosting all over their faces and hands, while Baby T ate his little piece much more politely.

A slice of surprise rainbow cake.

A slice of surprise rainbow cake.

The inside of the cake.

The inside of the cake.

At the End of the Rainbow by A H Benjamin and John Bendall-Brunello

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IMG_0428At the End of the Rainbow by A H Benjamin and John Bendall-Brunello, paperback picture book, published by Little Tiger Press in 2004.

Badger and Fox see a rainbow in the sky and try to follow it to find the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Along the way they meet some animals, all with a different idea as to what constitutes treasure, and it isn’t gold or jewels. Badger and Fox discover that friendship is a far greater treasure than any material goods could ever be.

This gentle story about friendship and what is really important in life is a very nice picture book for sharing with young children from preschool age. I particularly like Old Hare with his half-spectacles, and his wisdom. Both my children like this book, and it has been read many times in our house. When my eldest daughter was three she even took this book to playschool to show for news because she liked it so much. She said it makes her feel happy.

 

 

Choc Mini Meringues

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Ingredients.

Ingredients.

A is very fond of meringues, so when I did the groceries last week I bought a box of rainbow mini meringues for her (Woolworths Select Rainbow Mini Meringue Drops). On the side of the box was a recipe for transforming these mini meringues into bitesize chocolate rainbow treats. As we had all the necessary ingredients in the cupboard we gave it a go.

Dipping a meringue into the chocolate.

Dipping a meringue into the chocolate.

It was really a very simple process. I melted the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until it was smooth. Then the kids dipped the meringues into the chocolate, and put them straight into some hundreds and thousands. The hundreds and thousands stuck to the chocolate, making the meringues very colourful.

Covering the chocolate in hundreds and thousands.

Covering the chocolate in hundreds and thousands.

Setting on the bench.

Setting on the bench.

We also tried using some rainbow star sprinkles, but they weren’t quite as effective as the hundreds and thousands. The stars were bigger and didn’t make as neat a layer as the smaller hundreds and thousands, but I still liked how they looked, and the taste was similar.

L and A enjoyed making these treats, and eating them even more!

A star meringue.

A star meringue.

 

Button Rainbow

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Feeling the buttons.

Feeling the buttons.

A made another rainbow today, this time using buttons. We have a big jar of old or odd buttons that are great for crafting with. A tipped the jar all over the mat, and enjoyed running her fingers through the buttons. She looked for unique or special buttons, such as shiny ones or particularly large ones.

Sorting into colours.

Sorting into colours.

She sorted the buttons into piles of like colours in preparation for making her rainbow. This was a good sorting activity for A, where she sometimes had to decide what colour a particular button was. For example, she had to decide whether some of the buttons were more orange and should go in the orange pile, or were they more red and go in the red pile. Picking up the buttons and placing them was also good for her fine motor skills.

Placing the buttons.

Placing the buttons.

A laid out the buttons on a piece of paper to form her rainbow. She started with the green buttons on the bottom because green was the least numerous colour, which she could tell from the size of the pile. Then she worked her way out through the colours. She didn’t glue the buttons down though, so she could reuse them for something else later.

Once A was finished, she packed up all of the buttons very carefully back into their jar.

Grug and the Rainbow by Ted Prior

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IMG_0160Grug and the Rainbow by Ted Prior, small format paperback picture book, first published by Hodder & Stoughton Australia in 1982, this edition published by Simon & Schuster (Australia) in 2009.

Grug is a creature from the Australian bush, and features in his own series of books. An Australian classic, these books have been republished for a new generation to enjoy.

In Grug and the Rainbow, Grug sees a rainbow in the distance for the first time. He is curious, and tries to get closer, but it keeps moving further away.

The story is simple and easy to read, perfect for lower primary school children. Grug is a lovable character. I like his adventures, and the solutions he creates for any problems that arise. The illustrations are lovely, and the small format is great for little hands. I loved Grug as a child. They were some of the first books I read independently, and now my children love them too. It is such a joy to read some of my childhood favourites with my own kids.

 

Mosaics Rainbow

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This rainbow was made using cardboard mosaic squares. A made arches of glue and then placed the squares onto the glue to create the rainbow. It took a while for her to do this, but I think it is a lovely rainbow.

Placing mosaic squares.

Placing mosaic squares.

This turned out to be an excellent activity for A’s fine motor skills, as she had to pick up a single mosaic square, and then carefully place it where she wanted it. Sometimes she had to lift a square up and place it down again if she missed, or move them about in the glue to get them into position. She was getting a bit tired towards the end of the rainbow, and I helped her finish the last arch of red squares.

Sticking on some clouds.

Sticking on some clouds.

A chose to make clouds using cotton balls. She packed the cotton balls in so the clouds are very fluffy.

When it dried, the paper under the rainbow became a bit crinkly where the glue had dried. As is A’s tendency, she did use rather a lot of glue, but it looks fine on the wall next to some of her other rainbow pictures.

Pipe Cleaner Rainbow

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Placing the pipe cleaners.

Placing the pipe cleaners.

Another rainbow made by A. This time she glued pipe cleaners onto some paper to form a rainbow. She chose the order of the colours, and I helped by applying craft glue (the bottle is almost empty). A bent all the pipe cleaners into arches herself. When she was finished placing the pipe cleaners, I used sharp scissors to cut the bottoms of the inside colours to even the bases up a little.

Making clouds.

Making clouds.

Gluing the clouds on.

Gluing the clouds on.

Rolling the pipe cleaners up like spirals to form the clouds was A’s idea, and I think it worked well. She rolled up some white pipe cleaners for this.  I was impressed by how carefully and neatly she did this.

Once she had some clouds finished, she glued them at the bottom of the rainbow.

Painting the sky.

Painting the sky.

Having made the rainbow on white paper, A decided that it should really be in the sky, so the paper should be blue. I suggested she could use some watercolour paints to paint her sky. A liked this idea, so out came the paints. She carefully painted around the rainbow and clouds, making a lovely blue sky for her rainbow.