Making Rainbows

This article is adapted from one originally published on the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots in the UK website, here

When times are sad and difficult, it can be hard to have hope. But hope is a powerful, wonderful thing and it can get us through.

Dr Jane Goodall talks a lot about hope. It what drives her on, encouraging, inspiring and empowering one of her main reasons for hope – young people.

Rainbows are a universal sign of hope. By Alexis Dworsky via Wikimedia Commons

We are living in strange times, when all the usual things we take for granted are just beyond our reach. We can’t hug our family, we can’t play with our friends, children can’t go to school or to playgrounds, and our mountains and seasides are inaccessible. It’s hard, but it’s for the greater good – by staying home, we are protecting each other, and it’s a very generous and caring thing to do.

But it can still be hard. We can feel sad and lonely. We can miss the things we planned to do and the places we wish we could visit. It’s a completely normal response, and perfectly natural.

Getting creative can give you a good mood boost

A rainbow symbolises hope and is a great way to say thanks

Did you know that one way to boost your mood is do something creative? And it can be anything – drawing, doodling, colouring in, playing music, painting pictures, doing crafts – everything helps!

So we’ve got a great idea. Rainbows are often seen as a symbol of hope; after all, they appear when the weather is at it’s worst, bring colour and light and reminding us that the storm will pass. Rainbows are also being used a lot at the moment as a symbol of thanks to all the people who are helping us at the moment; the doctors and nurses, the postmen, the supermarket workers, the cleaners, the care-home workers.

Grab your pens, paper, glitter and glue, and have a go at making some rainbows! We’ve popped a few ideas below, shared some great ideas we’ve seen online, and if you’ve got any more then let us know. It doesn’t have to be a picture; it can be a model, a wind chime, a chalk drawing on the pavement, or even bunting. Just get those bright colours out.

1. Rainbow poster – get those paints, crayons and pencils out and draw the biggest, brightest rainbow you can.

2. Tissue paper rainbow – instead of using paint, use multicoloured tissue paper. Scrunch up lots of little pieces to form balls, then glue them down on cardboard to create the rainbow.

3. Rainbow bunting – get together all your scraps of different colour fabric and a long length of string or ribbon. Cut similar-sized triangles out of all the different colours (these want to be about 20cm each side) then stitch or glue them them to the string, leaving about 10cm gap between each flag. String it up in your window, your garden, along your fence or wherever you fancy.

4. Chalk rainbows and messages – Grab your chalks and decorate your front wall, garden wall, path or pavement with rainbows and messages. And the great thing about chalk is that it washes and fades, so you can always do new patterns and designs.

5. Colourful ribbons and rags – If you’ve got a fence or trellis, you can create a rainbow by tying lots of strips of colourful  fabric, plastic or ribbon into a rainbow pattern.

6. A massive window rainbow – Rather than painting smaller rainbows on a piece of paper, you can use lots of pieces of coloured paper to make a huge window-wide rainbow!

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