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How to Draw a Rainbow for Kids with Free Printable Template

Learn how to draw a rainbow for kids with this simple tutorial and free printable rainbow template. You will also learn a few things about rainbows.

What is it with little kids and wanting to draw rainbows? My daughter especially has an affinity towards them. Rainbows are colorful, beautiful and have an underlying meaning of hope and better things to come.

Drawing a rainbow is a fun and easy activity that anyone can do with a little practice. Rainbows are a beautiful natural phenomenon that can be recreated with a few simple steps. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, learning how to draw a rainbow can be a great way to hone your skills and create a colorful masterpiece.

Once your child has learned to draw a rainbow, check out this awesome rainbow drip painting activity!

If you are looking at more free printable summer activities, check out this cute printable paper fortune teller.

To start, gather your materials. You will need paper, a pencil, an eraser, and some colored pencils or markers. Begin by lightly sketching the outline of the rainbow with a pencil. Then, fill in the colors of the rainbow with your chosen medium, starting with red at the top and working your way down to purple at the bottom. With a little patience and practice, you can create a beautiful and realistic rainbow that will brighten up any room.

how to draw a rainbow

What is a rainbow?

National Geographic says “A rainbow is a multicolored arc made by light striking water droplets.”

How many different types of rainbows are there?

Scientists have concluded that there are 12 different types of rainbows based on whether all colors are visible, whether they have a strong Alexander’s band, and whether there are supernumerary bows. 

So what does this mean to a child? This means that every rainbow can look a wee bit different. There can be multiple rainbows at once, different shades of the colors of a rainbow and more!

That being said, all rainbows have a few things in common; mainly their colors.

marker colors of a rainbow

What are the colors of a rainbow?

The official rainbow colors are as follows:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

Most children know these colors by the acronym ROYGBIV. This means that every rainbow will always have these seven colors in this same order. The red is always on top and the violet is always on the bottom.

Rainbows are seen mostly on sunny, rainy days. I know that sounds like an oxymoron but I’m talking about those days where there is a slight (or misty) rain and the sun starts peaking through the clouds.

They will always appear opposite the side of the sun so when looking for a rainbow tell your kids to turn their back to the sun.

Drawing the Rainbow without a template

Step 1: Draw a line

To begin drawing a rainbow, start by drawing a straight line across the page. This line will serve as the base for the rainbow.

Step 2: Draw the first arc

Next, draw the first arc of the rainbow above the line. This arc should be a half-circle shape and can be drawn using a compass or by freehand.

Step 3: Draw the remaining arcs

After drawing the first arc, draw the remaining arcs of the rainbow in order of color. The colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each arc should overlap slightly with the arc before it.

Step 4: Color in the rainbow

Once all the arcs are drawn, it’s time to color in the rainbow. Use the colors of the rainbow in the same order they were drawn, starting with red on the outermost arc and working your way inward. Make sure to blend the colors together where they overlap to create a smooth transition.

how to color a rainbow

Drawing a rainbow is super simple. You can make it easy for young children especially with this free rainbow template attached below.

Before you begin showing them how to draw one, you need to explain the different colors and the order that they need to be drawn in.

Tips and Tricks

Use light pressure when drawing the arcs

When drawing a rainbow, it’s important to use light pressure when creating the arcs. This will help you to create a smooth, flowing line that looks natural and realistic. If you press too hard, your lines may look jagged or uneven, which can detract from the overall effect of your drawing.

Experiment with different colors

Rainbows are made up of many different colors. Experiment with different color combinations to find the ones that work best for you. You might try using bright, bold colors for a more vibrant effect, or softer, more muted colors for a more subtle look.

Practice makes perfect

Like any skill, drawing a rainbow takes practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out exactly as you’d hoped. Keep practicing, and you’ll soon find that you’re able to create beautiful, realistic rainbows with ease.

In addition to these tips, there are a few other things you can do to improve your rainbow drawing skills:

  • Use a ruler or straight edge to ensure that your arcs are even and symmetrical.
  • Start with light pencil lines, and then go over them with darker lines once you’re happy with the shape and placement of your arcs.
  • Consider adding shading or highlights to your rainbow to make it look more three-dimensional.

Below is a simple video on how to draw a rainbow with the rainbow template.

Rainbows make great learning crafts too. You can see where we previously created a walking rainbow science experiment and shared about capillary action. Also, check out our list of other Rainbow Crafts and Activities for kids too and even a few fun facts about rainbows for kids.

rainbow crafts for kids

Is there really a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?

In old folktales, leprechauns were said to hide their gold at the end of a rainbow. Science tells us that rainbows do not have an end since their arch shape is an illusion.

Ever tried to chase a rainbow and find it?

It can be frustrating because they appear to “move” when you get closer to them. Once again, just an old folktale.

Enough about that, how about that free template!

Free Printable Template for a Rainbow

how to draw a rainbow template

Above you will find the free rainbow template to trace from. This is a great tool for younger kids who are just learning to draw.

how to draw rainbows

I hope this simple tutorial with a few lessons has helped you learn more about rainbows!

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