Spring is here! In Kentucky, that means Redbud trees are in full bloom displaying glorious shades of pink and purple, birds are returning from their winter migration, rabbits are resurfacing from their hidden hibernation spots, and rain will be experienced plenty in the coming months.
But with rain comes an excuse to play in mud puddles and chase rainbows, right?!
Lately, our daughter has been enamored with rainbows so we are closely watching the weather, and when the next rainstorm arrives we plan to adventure outside in search of the myriad of colors in the sky she so desperately wants to see. And then in May or June, we hope to be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the moonbow in Cumberland Falls.
In the meantime, though, I decided to go ahead and compile and share my all-time favorite rainbow toys for kids.
- Rainbow Balls Mobile (HABA): Have an empty corner in one of your rooms? Brighten it up by hanging this beautiful rainbow balls mobile by HABA.
- Rainbow Playsilk: Playsilks are a favorite toy in our household. Because they are open-ended the only limit is your child’s imagination. Around our house playsilks have been used for games of peekaboo, kites, blankets, baby slings, togas, skirts, and dance accessories. The possibilities truly are endless. I cannot wait to see how else my daughter will play with them in the coming years.
- Moluk Mini Bilibos: Here’s another great option for a toy that will last several years and encourage imaginative and creative thinking. The mini bilibos can be used for stacking, scooping, and pouring, not to mention imaginary vehicles, helmets for small dolls or plush friends, and anything else your child envisions. We plan on picking these up before we head to the beach this summer. They seem like a perfect fit for sand and water play. Larger ones are also available on Amazon.
- Rainbow Tumbler: An attractive baby toy that will help promote self-directed movement and grasping skills. Once your child is a little bit older, it becomes a great alternative to a ball and you can roll it back and forth with your child.
- Rainbow Sensory Beanbags: I really regret not having purchased these sooner. They’re currently on our wish list, and I imagine we will get them to pair with a DIY cornhole board for our daughter to practice target throwing in the backyard this summer. I’d recommend buying a quality set of bean bags around your child’s first birthday. In addition to your child’s discovery of colors and textures, these can also be used in many cooperative games. Need some ideas? Check out Meaningful Mama’s 10 Bean Bag Games to Play with Kids. Also, the OT Mom Learning Activities blog details how bean bag games can be used to help develop your child’s motor skills. You can read that post here.
- Rainbow People Mover: Babies will take great delight in taking the peg people out of the truck and putting them back in. In addition to the People Mover being a wonderful posting toy, it can also be used for color matching when your child gets older.
- Guidecraft Jr. Rainbow Block Set: These blocks are stunning when placed in the sunlight. Put one in front of another, and a new color emerges – an excellent introduction to color theory. Plus, what child doesn’t love blocks? These are a great addition to any wooden building blocks your child already owns. Want to see the Guidecraft Jr. Rainbow Blocks on display? Check out Kimberly’s Easy and Fun Activities for Teaching Colors article on her blog Natural Beach Living.
- Stockmar Watercolor Paint: Let your child explore with wet-on-wet watercolor painting, beginning with one color and gradually adding in another, until they have discovered all the colors of the rainbow. You could always sub in less expensive watercolors, but we chose the Stockmar Primary Set because once diluted, they will last for a couple years given we only bring them out 1-2 times a week, and the pastel colors are beautiful. Be sure to save your child’s watercolor artwork so you can create cards that can be mailed to friends and family throughout the year, an excellent Grace and Courtesy lesson.
- SO Awesome Children’s Color & Shape Wallet Cards: I love these cards because they are great to bring along when traveling. Our daughter will flip through them in the car or at a restaurant or in a doctor’s office. She really enjoys finding the “hidden” image on each card. Follow the company on Facebook and/or Instagram to receive special notices about sales and discount codes. The wallet cards make a great stocking stuffer or Easter basket gift. Also, don’t forget about the Resources section on the You Guys Are SO Awesome website where you can find free printables and dozens of activity suggestions for the cards.
- LYRA Ferby Colored Pencils: My daughter (2 years old) prefers these colored pencils to crayons. They are thick, sturdy, and fit perfectly into her hand. She loves to draw and color with them on a daily basis.
- Rainbow Catcher: Here’s another item on our wish list. It’s beautiful, and I know our daughter will enjoy it. And all children need at least one kaleidoscope, right?
- Grimm’s Seven Friends: A perfect sorting-and-matching gift for a young toddler. Older toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy incorporating the peg people into imaginative stories and creative playscapes.
- Grimm’s Large Rainbow Stacking Tunnel: Unlock your child’s creativity with this oversized nesting-and-stacking toy that can also be used for dozens of other things such as car ramps, rocking boats, train tunnels, mountains, doll houses, gnome caves — again, your child’s imagination is the limit. Of course we don’t want to forget about the myriad of cool building structures that can be created from the blocks themselves.
- Grimm’s Rainbow Semicircles Building Set: Pair this new addition from Grimm’s with the Large Rainbow Stacker, and your child can now build multilevel housing units for their peg dolls.
- Transparency Paper Booklet: You and your child can create a rainbow of Waldorf kite stars to hang in your windows, or even try your hands at origami and create a rainbow of butterflies or cranes — whatever suits your child’s fancy.
- Magna-Tiles: These are on our gift list for our daughter for either this coming Christmas or her 3rd birthday. She likes playing with them at toy stores and is able to experiment with them on a light table at the Science Center. They’re another example of a really excellent open-ended toy that will be played with for several years. The best part? You’ll also have fun building things with them.
- Rainbow Silk Streamer: It can be a kite, a fishing pole, a magic wand, a dance prop, a rainbow maker, etc.
- A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman: If your child is really interested in rainbows, be sure to read this story about a boy who goes in search of his very own rainbow.
- Rainbow Kite: A classic toy, and for good reason — Kites are good, old-fashioned fun. Lilly received this one for her 2nd birthday, and we recently had the opportunity to fly it in a nearby park. I don’t think I can recall the last time I had so much fun running around a field.
- Naef Rainbow Wooden Musical Toy & Puzzle: If you’ve passed on Grimm’s large rainbow stacker and are looking for a unique and heirloom quality toy that will double as a beautiful piece of artwork displayed in your home, look no further. The price tag’s incredibly high, but this rainbow looks and sounds pretty amazing.
- Seasons: Rhymes in Time: Featuring watercolor illustrations paired with the lyrics to the accompanying music CD, this book would be a wonderful introduction to color analysis and how it relates to the seasons on earth.
- Peaceful Dove Crystal Suncatcher: Yet another item we hope to purchase soon. Hang the suncatcher in a window and watch as your child stands in awe as rainbows dance along the walls. Use it later to introduce prisms to your child. Several styles are available, but we selected the Dove to incorporate into our peace studies at home.
- Rainbow Wooden Spinning Top Set: Another classic, old-fashioned toy that provides hours of entertainment for all ages! Babies and young toddlers will enjoy watching the spinning tops, while older toddlers and preschoolers will begin attempting to get them to spin. Elementary-aged children will enjoy the challenge of mastering all the tops in the set.
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