Celebrate Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Week with Rainbow Tributes


It seems that it is no coincidence that Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Day fall in the same week. These are two of the professions that are the backbone of society and are widely under recognized for their importance.


However, now in these strange new times, people are beginning to appreciate more the great and heavy duty these two professions have always carried.


So, how do you say thank you and show your appreciation when the best thing we can do right now is to stay at home? Art of course! Art really is a universal language. It has always transcribed words and is often the first response to great events in history that are hard to put into words. 


As the stay at home orders began in Italy, rainbows began popping up in people’s windows as a way to spread hope and show appreciation. What started in Italy quickly spread across the globe in a show of hope and appreciation. There’s even a Rainbow Connection Map that tracks the rainbows people have created. Rainbows have long symbolized peace and serenity, but also that something good and beautiful often follows even the darkest of storms. It seems natural that they would become the symbol of hope and gratitude in these hard times. In this vain, we will use a rainbow to show our appreciation for all the teachers and nurses on the front lines who are keeping things running.


The beautiful thing about a rainbow is that there’s no wrong way to make one. You can use whatever supplies you find around your home, so get creative. You can collage together cut up empty food packages, junk mail, cotton balls that you paint with nail polish, coffee filters, ribbon; really anything goes! Today I’ll be sticking mostly with paper and markers because it’s what I have on hand, but I can’t wait to see what creative things you decide to work with!


Here are the supplies I’m using:
White paper


First decide what you want the base of your rainbow to be. Is it a giant cloud? An apple? A unicorn? A firetruck? The choice is yours! I’m going with the sun, because we could all use a little more sunshine in our lives right now.


One a piece of paper (or cardboard, or whatever material you’re working with), create the outline of your base. If you’re going to cut out your base, make sure to make all the lines thick enough that you’ll be able to cut them out. I decided I wanted my base to be a little bigger after I drew it, so I drew another line on top. No one will be able to tell once it’s colored.


Color in your shape however you like Then cut it out. Make sure that any small lines (like the sun’s rays) stay attached. If you cut them off by accident, you can always tape them back on.


Once it is colored and cut out, use your glue (any glue will work!) to write THANK YOU in the middle. You may want to write it with a pencil first to figure out your spacing.

While the glue is still wet, sprinkle it with glitter (or sequins, or ripped up pieces of colored paper, dried rice you colored with food coloring, ect; you do you!). Careful not to touch until your glue is dry! 

Once your glue has dried, you can pour off the excess glitter (pro tip, brush it onto another sheet of paper so you can pour it back into the glitter container).

Next, trace three clouds out of whatever material you are working with (these will cover the bottom of your chosen base). In one cloud you will write TEACHERS and in one NURSES. Decorate the third however you like! 


If you make a mistake (like not leaving enough room to rite out the full word), don’t be afraid to flip your paper over and trace the shape on the back to have a fresh slate!


Cut out your clouds and tape them to the bottom of your base shape (tape them on the back).


Next you are going to create ribbons in the colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV). These could be strips of papers or cut out hearts (or clouds, apples, suns, etc) attached with string to make a chain. The choices are endless; it just needs to be something you are able to write on. I’ve chosen to create ribbons of paper that I colored with markers before cutting out.


I found it helpful to fold a sheet of paper into a four equal sesctions and three on the top of my page with the clouds so that my ribbons are all approximately the same size.


Color your ribbons, one on each color of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). I found it helpful to put a paper towel under each strip before coloring them so I didn’t get marker all over my work surface. And bonus you get a piece of abstract art when your’e done!


On each ribbon (or heart, sun, apple, etc) you can write the name of a teacher and/or nurse you’d like to show appreciation for! Or you can draw a picture of these people instead!

Attach your ribbons to the clouds with tape on the back.

Now your rainbow is ready to be hung in your window! Don’t forget to place it facing out so people can see it from outside!

Do you have a teacher or nurse you’d like to recognize? Share your rainbow with their name so we can help you celebrate them!

Teacher Appreciation Week: May 4-8

Nurse Appreciation Week: May 6-12