Tie Dye, Rainbows, and the Heart


The Activity Days activity came about because our girls had the idea of tie-dying t-shirts. Rather than just have a craft night, I thought I could add a little substance to the evening. When I found the “Within a Rainbow” story from the Friend, I knew I had found a great way to infuse a little spiritual thought into our fun night.

Category: Learning and Living the Gospel

Duration: 1 session


  • Supplies for tie dye shirts – dye, rubber bands, gloves, plastic bags, and shirts.
  • A copy of “Within a Rainbow” from the June 1994 Friend.
  • (Optional) A prism, or a video of a prism working. (To get a prism to work in the primary room, I had to cover a flashlight end with aluminum foil and then poke a small hole with a toothpick. When this pinpoint light shined on the prism, it created rainbows on the wall.)


  • If you want every girl to do the same tie dye technique, look up a youtube video of that technique beforehand to get a feel of how to demonstrate it. If you want to give them several different options, have access to a site like this or print some pictures of each technique to show the girls.
  • Think through how to do tie dye at the church without making a mess. We used a sheet out on the tiny front lawn of the church.
  • Make sure the parents know you will be tie dying so their kids come to church in old clothes.


  1. Read “Within a Rainbow” and discuss the moral of the story. Discuss what “inner beauty” means and what it’s important.
  2. Demonstrate how a prism works and talk about how it’s related to the story.
  3. Read 1 Samuel 16:7 together (“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”). Discuss.
  4. Tell the girls that when they make their tie dye shirts, with each color they should think of something they love about themselves that reflects their inner beauty. They will share these at the end of the activity.
  5. Talk about tie dye techniques and share the pictures or techniques you have chosen.
  6. Have the girls rubber band their shirts.
  7. Head to the location where you are going to tie dye and do the dying! Our kit said to wait overnight before rinsing, so we put the dye on the shirts and then placed them into bags for them to take home and rinse the next day.
  8. When everyone is done adding their dye, have them sit in a circle and share with the group one facet of their inner beauty for each color they put on their shirt.
  9. Give the girls instructions for rinsing their shirts the next day and close the meeting.


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