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If you’d like to fill some time with an easy, fun, and meaningful adventure for toddlers or preschoolers, this rainbow photo scavenger hunt is for you. My daughter and I had a lot of fun playing this game that’s all about learning and searching for the colors of the rainbow.

Supplies for Rainbow Photo Scavenger Hunt:

  • Camera

Seriously, that’s it, plus a little bit of time.

We started playing this game when my daughter wanted to learn the order of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. We like to play this on our way to the park, and it makes the meandering a lot more meaningful. My 3 year old has her own camera (it’s a kid camera) but she’s not interested in it so it’s a good thing I like snapping photos!

She points at the objects and I take the pictures.

How to play

To play, we like to start with red and work our way through the rainbow.

When my daughter spots something red, I snap a photo of it. Then we look for something orange, and so on.

Not only have we been learning the rainbow, but we’re tuning our eyes toward objects in our neighborhood. As a result of this game we’ve had some thought-provoking chats about abandoned cars, storm drains, litter, and nuances of colors like “yellow-orange.”

It’s also been fascinating to look at the world through my child’s eyes. For example, when we started with “red” I spotted a big (obvious) red car right in front of us, but N looked up and asked me to take a photo of the glowing red leaves on a tree. It was so subtle, but they were definitely red!

I added these photos to those from a previous post, Photo Documentary with Kids, and suddenly we’re building a colorful documentation of our neighborhood. Maybe it’s time to figure out what to do with all these photos? Please let me know if you have any ideas for us.

21 Comments

  1. I love this project for two reasons: 1 – There is a vivid aesthetic & strong visual impact from the photos; 2 – Teaching children at an early age that art is alive in the natural world will be life changing for them. As Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Certainly, this photo ensemble does.

    • I’m so glad you mentioned the bit about kids learning that art is “alive in the natural world.” That’s exactly right, Chris, and it’s important that children are given the chance to get outside to explore the natural world in multiple ways.

    • Thank you, Terri! Have fun with it. I’d love to hear how it goes with your 4-year old as I’ve only done this with my daughter and it’s interesting to hear how our projects translate.

  2. I love this idea, my 3 year old is obsessed with spotto in the car and i think we could really change it up with a game of rainbow spotto, in summer we will definately play this on the way to the park.

    • Is spotto the game where you search for yellow cars? I loved that game when I was a kid (even though my little brother loved punching me!). We played this again today without the camera and it was equally fun. Actually, since I took all the pictures last time it felt exactly the same. We also played it recently in an airplane and it was an amazing way to kill some time without annoying the flight attendants too much.

  3. i love this so much, as ROY G BIV is my boyfriend. (don’t tell craig.)
    we did a one color scavenger photo hunt to create an orange birthday digital card for a little friend’s bday a couple summer ago, and N loved it! visual-impact-wise, it is still one of my favs: http://paintcutpaste.com/color-hunt/
    N was 2 when we did this and was not snapping the photos herself, but i bet that she’d love to take her camera out now to try again – rainbow-style!

    • Okay, two things, Jen. First, YOU girls, in all your rainbow glory, were on my mind when I was writing this. And second, your orange grid is AWE-SOME! Don’t you love it when great ideas just fall into your lap? We’re totally doing this with one color. I think my N will love to focus on one thing and really look closely. Thank you.

      • thanks for thinking of us! it’d be fun to get together soon to play or take a rainbow walk! 🙂 and thank you for the nice words about the orange grid. i hadn’t thought about that in a long time, and now i really want to try making more in different colors, but with N taking the shots. one in each color of the rainbow would make for a neat photo book, i think… maybe a good gift handmade for a kid, too!

  4. I really love this idea and know that my children will love it. Whenever we are out at a cafe or restaurant and waiting for our order we always play eyespy but use the colours of the rainbow. Next time we are out for a walk I will play it and take photos. I suggest a journal with the photos stuck in and the kids can add comments.

    • No kidding, Bernadine! We’re so on the same page! Love the journal idea. I’d be interested to hear what my child has to say about it.

  5. What a neat idea :)  I’ll have to do this with my 4 year old.  Maybe you could take the photos off your neighborhood and maybe talk about where they are or what each thing is (what kind of tree, what kind of flower, etc) and organize them that way.  Just keep finding different ways or organizing the photos.  By color, By subject, etc.  Just an idea 🙂

  6. I love this idea! Have you thought about taking the photos and creating a map of the neighborhood for rainy days? Make little cutouts of photos of the kids to stand up and use as game pieces. Turn the map into a gameboard with direction cards that say things like “turn left at the yellow truck” to practice map directions.

  7. This really is another fun and fascinating technique utilized by trick photography enthusiasts. Have them speaking regarding their favorite subject or allow them to communicate with something or someone.Like a digital photographer you should attempt and visit new places frequently for inspiration and also to vary your photo content.

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