An overnight stay with 4-year-old Rainbows

4-year-olds have been joining units in Scotland, Wales and England for over a year!

01 November 2022

It’s been over a year now since Rainbow units in Scotland, Wales and England have welcomed 4-year-old Rainbows.

12th Ramsgate West Rainbows was one of these units. They currently have ten 4-year-olds.

Sophie’s story

Even before she turned four, Sophie was keen to be a Rainbow. Both of her older sisters had gone to Rainbows and Brownies and she wanted to join too. During lockdown, she joined her sisters’ Zoom calls and from there, she was hooked!

Her mum explains that ‘she loves being with everyone, she’s very outgoing at Rainbows’. Sophie also wasn’t ‘worried everyone else is older, she just says everyone is her friend’.

Sophie’s favourite game at Rainbows is Hedgehogs and she loves anything to do with badges. She’s already achieved her Bronze and Silver awards and she ‘wants to go to Rainbows’ every day.

Going away overnight

As well as taking part in the weekly Rainbow meetings, Sophie went on her first overnight stay. Her mum told said that ‘we were both very nervous as she has never stayed anywhere overnight without me. Sophie has a milk allergy, and it wasn’t even an issue for us to send her’.

Sophie’s Rainbow leader, Vickey, says that she didn’t have to adapt the sleepover for Sophie, only the dietary requirements which need doing for any age. The leader was ‘prepared for tears at bedtime’ but there weren’t any at all.

Sophie’s favourite activity on the sleepover was that she got to make s’mores.

Top tips from 12th Ramsgate West Rainbows leader, Vickey

‘Remember, the programme was designed with 4-year-olds in mind since they’ve always started at four in Ulster,’ says leader Vickey.

‘The unit meeting activities and Skill builders can be adapted to suit your units needs as long as it meets the aim. Most 4-year-olds are or have been in a nursery setting so can be more confident starting than you think.

She adds: ‘Start with simple games their first night. Ours would play Hedgehogs every week if they could and we now play it every time someone new starts.’

Have you taken 4-year-old Rainbows on a residential? We’d love to hear from you. Email [email protected] to share your story.