Little Hands Learning is a children’s activity box subscription service that supports your child’s learning and development through the magic of books. February’s box contained the 32-page book, ‘Rain Before Rainbows’ written by Smriti Halls and illustrated by David Litchfield. Rain Before Rainbows is a beautiful rhyming picture book with an uplifting and heartwarming message; that all good things come after the storm.
“A girl and her companion fox travel together from a place of loss and despair, through uncertain times, towards the hope of colour, light and life. Along the way, they find friends to guide and support them. Together, they build a glorious future and discover there is a way out of the darkness, into the light of the rainbow. A book with immense hope at its heart, this is a positive message for anyone who’s ever gone through a tough time.”
Activity 1 – Rain Before Rainbows
Every box contains the materials for children to create their small world activity. Children are encouraged to go outside to look for natural treasures such as sticks, leaves, stones, and any other seasonal materials. Penny used the rice provided (dyed to represent the colours of the rainbow) as well as sticks she collected on our woodland walk to create a tent-like structure. The activity cards include talking points relevant to the story, one of there included a discussion about whether or not the fox was the little girl’s friend or spirit guide. Indigenous cultures believe your spirit animal can guide and protect you. Penny said hers would be a unicorn with a pointy horn that could fly her into the stars. I love how the activities in our Little Hands Learning box spark these interesting conversations and an insight into her creative and wonderful mind.
Activity 2 – Sowing & Planting
Penny loved planting her broad bean. She simply popped the bean in a jar with wet cotton wool and sat it on her windowsill. She checks up on it regularly and it’s lovely to see her being so nurturing and responsible. Seeing her ‘beanstalk’ grow daily is a practical and engaging way to build a healthy respect for nature.
Activity 3 – Rainbow
Penny created her own rainbow mosaic using the tissue paper provided and using water to blend the dye onto the paper. Creating a beautiful, almost watercolor effect.
Activity 4 – Light
Finally, this activity looks at the ways the illustrator uses light to convey different emotions and how, in some religions, light symbolises hope. This sounds like a complicated concept for a child to grasp, however, Penny almost instantly related it to the candle in the Disney film Encanto. The way her little mind works really is incredible. This activity involves covering an empty jar in the paper starts provided, lighting the tealight underneath, watching it glow, and asking your little one about what they are hopeful for and what makes them happy/sad/frightened. This activity provides a gentle opportunity for your child to share their feelings in a safe environment.