The Rainbow Programme

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Rainbows began in 1987.  Rainbows are girls aged five to seven and follow a programme called the Rainbow Jigsaw, through which they can take part in lots of different activities with girls their own age. Rainbows is all about developing self-confidence, building friendships, learning new things and having fun. Girls get their hands dirty with arts and crafts, trying out cooking and playing games. Rainbows is all about learning by doing.

The Rainbows wear a pale blue and red polo shirt, with a red hoodie and red trousers and if they choose a red baseball cap.  They have a Rainbow promise flash which appears on all their official resources.  When they join a unit they are often given a Rainbow bag and receive the Ready for Rainbows book. 

When the girls feel they are ready they are able to make their promise, which is, ' I promise that I will do my best to think about my beliefs and to be kind and helpful'.  Once they have made this promise they are able to wear their pale blue Rainbow Promise badge and are given a Rainbow Promise Certificate so that they can remember when they made their first Guiding Promise.

The Rainbows Jigsaw, which is this age groups programme follows 4 different themes, Look, Learn,  Laugh and Love.

Rainbows Look

This area allows Rainbows to begin to understand that they are part of a wider world. Rainbows Look includes activities that explore communities that the girls are part of, as well as the environment.

Rainbows Learn

A Rainbow learns in many ways, such as:

  • visiting people and places

  • having visitors at unit meetings

  • being creative

  • using technology to communicate

  • enjoying activities with other members of the guiding family

  • playing games.

However, being a Rainbow should be fun and not at all like school.

Rainbows Laugh

This area of the Rainbow Jigsaw encourages games, songs, parties, celebrations, making a mess and enjoying life.

Rainbows Laugh also has a learning strand, as each Rainbow develops important skills while she:

  • forms new friendships

  • makes her own choices

  • participates in small groups

  • has fun.

Rainbows Love

This area is at the heart of the Rainbow Jigsaw. A girl is beginning to understand the concept of ‘love’ when she joins Rainbows through her experiences of caring and sharing with family and friends, and being kind to others.

There are several jigsaw themes - one being the Global Adventure - girls choose which jigsaw they would like to do and then then choose the activity from the challenge - teaching the girls about making choices.

If the girls complete the challenges they are awarded a jigsaw badge.  They are also given other badges which may be for work they have done or for other activities undertaken.

When girls have finished their programme and their pot of gold book they are then awarded their pot of Gold Badge and are then ready to go up to Brownies.

What do girls say about Rainbows?

'We play games, we celebrate things, we write in our books, we play on the computer, we do painting…'

Fareeha, 6

'We're a little bit the same and a little bit different to other girls. I think Rainbows learn more things. I think it's easier than at school because there are no boys.'

Isha, 6

'The best bit was the party for my Promise because we all ate chocolate cake!'

Louise, 5