Beading a Rainbow: A Fun St. Patties Fine Motor Activity!

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beading a rainbowWhen it comes to crafts and play with my kids, I try my hardest to provide open ended activities. While it is important to have activities that following directions from time to time, I strongly believe that the process is more important to learning than the product. Because of this I love to use a lot of art, play, and messy activities to learn. 

This activity has endless options on what you can do to encourage learning while playing while being a fantastic opportunity to work on strengthening fine motor skills. 

beading a rainbow

Items You Will Need:

To do this activity is pretty straight forward and simple. Let your kids stick their pipe cleaners into the play dough and then slide the beads on to the corresponding color pipe cleaner. Once the pipe cleaner is mostly filled, bend into an upside down U and push the other end of the pipe cleaner into the play dough on the opposite side.

beading a rainbow

Beading A Rainbow Learning Activities:

One of the things that I love about this activity is it’s flexibility. For TinTin (2) just getting the beads on to the pipe cleaner was a challenge. His rainbow ended up looking more like a brightly colored birthday cake, but he had successfully pushed all of his pipe cleaners into the play dough and had gotten the majority of his beads on. Plus, he had a blast and was super proud of his creation! Livia (6) worked on more complicated skills such as counting her beads by 2’s, learning and talking about ROYGBIV, and we even played a game of words that start with Letter ___ and she had to come up with a word for each bead she put on!

What you can do with this will only be limited by your imagination!

Beading a Rainbow

beading a rainbow

On March 17th, the luck of the Irish is yours with this brilliantly fun beaded rainbow activity!


  • Play Dough
  • Pony Beads
  • Pipe Cleaners


  1. Create a foundation with your play dough.
  2. Stick one end of each pipe cleaner into the play dough in ROYGBIV
  3. Slide the corresponding beads on to each pipe cleaner.
  4. Once mostly filled with beads, bend the pipe cleaner into an upside down U and press the end into the play dough.


Craft items provided by Oriental Trading:

Adapted from Oriental Trading

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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A Book for the Activity!

A Rainbow of My Own by. Don Freeman

beading a rainbow

What better book to read when making your own rainbow than a book about a little boy who has a rainbow of his own to play with? This magical book is full of fun illustrations and is a great way to explain to young readers the science behind a rainbow.

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