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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Open your (rainbow) hearts

Make colourful rainbows to celebrate how we are all unique.

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You’ll need

  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Device with access to the internet
  • Coloured paper
  • Paper plates (one per person)

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here.  Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • It’s up to you whether you cut out the rainbow shapes (from the paper plates) and the heart shapes (from the coloured paper) before the session, or if you support the group to do this themselves. You could prepare sheets of coloured paper with heart shapes on for everyone to cut out.

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle and get ready for storytime.
  2. The person leading the activity should read the story Kenny lives with Erica and Martina by Olly Pike.  In this story, Kenny’s world becomes a lot more colourful when some new neighbours move in, but not everyone is happy. You could read the book, or use this video.
  3. Ask everyone about how every person in the group is different. Everyone could think about the following questions:
    • How are you all unique? How were Jenny and Hasan unique?
    • How would you feel if there was only one colour in the world?
    • Were people kind to Jenny and Hasan?
    • Kenny used colours to make feel Jenny and Hasan welcome. How can you welcome new friends in your group?

What makes you unique?

  1. The person leading the activity could share what makes them unique.

They could talk about their hobbies, or they could tell everyone their favourite food, colour, TV show or games. They could talk about the things they don’t like to do or food they don’t like to eat, too.

  1. Everyone could talk about how we are all different. We all may enjoy different things, be part of different families or have different friends. There is only one you. What makes you ‘you’?

You could talk about how it’s good to learn about each other. It can help us find out new things and respect each other.

  1. Explain that we can make sure everyone feels welcome and is included in our group. Even if we do not agree with other people or like the same things as them, we can still be friends and make sure everyone feels welcome.
  2. Tell everyone that by meeting different people we can help to understand the beauty of being unique and appreciate differences. We’re all the same in some ways and different in other ways, and that’s OK.
  3. The person leading the activity can explain that we’re going to create some rainbows with hearts, as a symbol to show that the group values, welcomes and respects everyone’s differences, as well as to celebrate how everyone is unique and should be proud of who they are.

Create your hearts

  1. Split into small groups of about four people.
  2. Talk about things you like. Everyone could think about the following questions: What is your favourite food? Who makes up your family? What is your favourite book? What is your favourite colour?

Make sure everyone has chance to share if they feel comfortable to. Some children may not want to speak, or they might not know yet what they like or what makes them unique. They can still join in by listening to what others like.

  1. Cut the paper plates in half and then cut out a semicircle from the middle, to make a rainbow shape. Everyone should have their own rainbow shape.
  2. Cut out lots of different coloured heart shapes out of coloured paper. You can prepare these in advance, or have everyone cut out traced heart shapes.
  3. Draw or write something you like on each of the heart shapes.
  4. Stick your hearts onto your paper-plate shape to make a wonderful rainbow!

Open your hearts

  1. Everyone can come together, bringing their finished rainbows.
  2. If they want to, people can show everyone their rainbow, and talk about what makes them unique.


This activity helps people to talk about themselves in positive terms, express their individuality, and share what makes them unique. 

Open your hearts

  • Does everyone like the same things? Are we all the same or different?
  • What would it be like if we were all the same? Why is it good that we are all different? 
  • It can be a way to learn something new, and it makes things more exciting - it might be boring if we were all the same. Our differences make the world a more interesting place.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

It’s up to each child how simple or detailed they want to make their rainbows. Younger children may want to draw on the heart what they like or use stickers. Older children may want to write on the hearts instead.

If some children struggle to share their likes, you may want to have the activity done about what makes your group unique. Instead of creating individual rainbows, you can create a big one together.

You could create a list of ideas of likes and dislikes for everyone to look at and spark their own ideas.

If anyone struggles with fine motor skills, cutting or sticking, you could prepare some pre-cut shapes in advance, or buddy them up with someone else.

You could also use heart stickers or stickers showing different activities, likes and dislikes, so people don’t need to cut out and stick.

Sitting for a long time doing arts and crafts may be hard for some children, and it’s up to you how you adapt this activity.  You could change it into an active story, with children doing actions when certain words are said. People don’t need to be sat down to do their arts and crafts. To get more active, everyone could add their hearts to one giant rainbow.

Or, the group could enjoy exploring colours and celebrating our diversity in different ways. People could draw or paint rainbows or hearts, or have fun with shaving foam and food colouring.  

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

People could take their rainbow home to show their family and talk about how we’re all unique.

Make sure everyone has chance to share. Some people may not know yet what they like and what makes them unique, and that’s OK. They can still join by listening to what others like.

The group could choose how they want to create their rainbow art.

Instead of making a rainbow each, everyone could work together to create a giant rainbow, showing the wonderful diversity in the group – all the different things people like. Everyone could pick hearts of their favourite colours, and stick their hearts on a giant rainbow shape or outline.