Rainbows

(21 Posts)
HappilyUnhinged Thu 13-Dec-12 12:48:58

Hi,

I've been lurking here a while, but first post dipping my toes into the shark-infested water (OK, not so much here, but I've been lurking on AIBU and that IS shark-infested).

Anyway, I HE my DD, she is 5 and doing very well with it. I was just looking into signing her up for Rainbows and wondered if anyone else had experience with it.

DD's no genius or anything, but as with many HE kids, she's well ahead of the curve, can read/write/do maths etc. and I wonder how much she's going to get out of Rainbows and if it'll be a bit 'young' for her (as an example, she has a friend who is the same age with an older (8) sister, and she always gravitates towards the older sister when they're all together because the other girl 'annoys her sometimes because she's too little and doesn't know as much'.

So basically, Rainbows good or Rainbows not-so-good?

Oh, and Hi! smile Now I've taken the time to register, I'll probably stick my oar in a little more often.

take3 Thu 13-Dec-12 17:36:26

This sounds very much like the situation I was in just over a year ago - my dd was 5, reading fluently and into quite complicated role play games with friends etc. She started Rainbows and loved it. It was good to see her going off alone to do something and being able to slot in well with children who are at school. She too prefers older children but even children like this need to learn to get along with the children they don't usually or naturally gravitate towards - so Rainbows is good for this, though at the start, being 5 yrs old, your dd will be the youngest and some will be nearly 7. Also, there isn't much time for free play at Rainbows, will lots of games and activities organised for them.

Having said all that, after a year of Rainbows we have decided to continue with it no longer - not due to any problems with Rainbows but really because I noticed we had become just too busy with different activities and I was spending a lot of time trying to get everyone out of the door, driving too and from activities and feeling stressed in the process! I also noticed that the more activities ours do out of the house, the less opportunity there is for them to spend time together... or with me... or just entertaining themselves in a way that they choose. I think some activities are important but it is far too easy to over-do the number of things they have on and then make life quite stressful - but perhaps that is just us. We have decided to have 2 activities out the house each week, possibly 3 and then others in our house, either just the 5 of us or with friends coming around eg. art club here at our house or sewing together whilst chatting and laughing together.
Hope that helps.

homeedmama Thu 13-Dec-12 17:48:56

Hi my daughter is 6 and HE. She has been going to Rainbows for 6 months and absolutely loves it. She has made a very good friend there & though the activities seem quite basic, she enjoys it. All the girls are her age, whereas in our HE groups the age span is quite big. everyone always says this is a positive, but recently I have found DD craves friendships with her peers. DD does a variety of out of the house activities, but Rainbows is her favourite & the one she never wants to miss, even when shes ill!!! I must say that it has been a surprise hit. I would say, give it a go! Its free, and nothing else is free these days! Also they seem to do a lot of what I would call 'the fun parts of school'.....so DD has a carol service to sing in and attend, and an xmas party and in Jan they are going to a Pantomime.

sausagesandwich34 Thu 13-Dec-12 17:53:39

rainbows is free?

where do you live? it's £15 per half term locally

rainbows is fantastic btw

you can register your interest here with no obligation

many units have a waiting list but via the site you can be on several unit's waiting lists at once

3b1g Thu 13-Dec-12 17:59:53

I'm not HEing but found Rainbows very positive from a social point of view, increasing confidence and learning to do things for others and for the community. DD is now in Brownies and her unit has had visits from people from various organisations and other cultures. She has also helped to organise some fundraising activities for a couple of charities. I found Rainbows and Brownies to both be very outward-looking. Badges they have done as a unit have included disability awareness and world cultures. There is also an emphasis on mentoring younger / newer Brownies.

catnipkitty Thu 13-Dec-12 18:34:29

Hi
my twins started Rainbows at the about 6.5 yrs old and the group they went to was lovely and friendly but the activities were just too 'young' for them - singing nursery rhymes, basic colouring in. A friend's DD goes to a much better sounding group where the activities were better thought out and more interesting. The leader of our group gave up and the group closed but I think my DDs had lost interest anyway.

Can you ask to go along for a trial session to see it's the kind of thing your DD would like? that's what we did with Rainbows and Brownies and the leaders were very happy for us to do that.

Oh and 'Hi and welcome!' smile

catnipkitty Thu 13-Dec-12 18:35:57

Oh, and our Rainbows was £15 per term too - cheap, but not free!

I've no experience of Rainbows but I'm planning to sign DD1 up for St John's Ambulance Badgers when she turns 5. It looks good to me because of the age range (5-10), it's mixed sex and there is no religious element. Aside from that it looks very similar, they can earn badges by learning a range of skills etc.

jomidmum Thu 13-Dec-12 20:50:57

My daughter used to be a Rainbow (now in Brownies) and she loved it. I think it depends on your daughter; Rainbows and Brownies are rather girly, whereas Beavers and Cubs can be suitable for less girly girls. IYSWIM!.
HTH.

Festivedidi Thu 13-Dec-12 20:57:34

I used to run a Rainbow group and it was anything but girly even though they were all girls iyswim. We had a couple of HE girls over the 10 years I ran the group and they both loved it. They seemed to rather enjoy the socialising with other girls their own age and although they did find some of the activities a little young they didn't seem to mind as long as they were with their friends.

BitofSparklingPerry Thu 13-Dec-12 22:50:23

Dd1 does Rainbows and loves it, although some of the kids can be quite boisterous (they seem to have a lot of brownies aged girls helping out who pick the rainbows up and twirl them around etc, which dd doesn't like)

£2.50 a session here.

HappilyUnhinged Fri 14-Dec-12 00:21:22

All sounds fairly positive, thanks. I registered her anyway, don't know what the waiting list might be around here (east London, so...).

Thanks for the welcome.

firefly11 Fri 14-Dec-12 17:35:43

My DD is 6 now but when she was 5 she went to Rainbows but didn't like it. She loves anything to do with animals and wildlife so she found a better fit with the local RSPB Wildlife Explorers club instead... Her elder sis is 10 and has been going to Brownies for a yer and she absolutely loves it. So don't worry, just try Rainbows out, and if your DD doesn't enjoy it, you can always find something else that will appeal to her. Good luck with it smile

homeedmama Sat 15-Dec-12 20:18:33

Oh no, maybe I was meant to pay something then! (fblush) I honestly dont remember handing over any money! Should have guessed, nothing is ever free!!

MistressIggi Sat 15-Dec-12 20:34:36

The money will be to pay for resources for crafts, cooking or whatever. (Called subs or dues when I was a Guide!). The staff are volunteers, so it's still cheaper than other 'classes'.

3b1g Sun 16-Dec-12 00:49:05

We pay something like £20 a term for Brownies.

ShrekTh3Halls Sun 16-Dec-12 01:09:55

imho it depends very much on the group, its leaders and is also potentially a personality thing. Dd in school and works with a small group of her peers in the year above her own age group iyswim. she went to rainbows from her 5th b'day and quite quickly found that they did very little, only craft stuff with stickers and glitter. badge work was minimal and as she has two brothers who were then in beavers and cubs, with a jumper full of badges each, she was quite unimpressed with rainbows. Needless to say, as soon as she was 6, she went to Beavers instead grin (and quickly got her own jumper with lots of interest badges)

itsstillgood Sun 16-Dec-12 07:36:29

The unit it is as good as the Guiders. I run two units and they are fantastic wink
Seriously though we have very low child to adult ratios and so most units are quite small (due to lack of volunteers!) and we are able to adapt a lot to the individual girls. We go through spells of doing girly stuff and spells where we are very rough and tumble. Depends on the mix of girls.

The official programme is very basic and babyish. Good Guiders will go beyond the programme though.

Definitely won't be free as we have to pay rent plus around £20 a person (inc volunteer adults) to HQ annually for insurance etc as well as badges, books and resources, craft supplies. Ours is £14 a half term and requires careful budgeting to make do on that.

Only thing I would say is depending on your area you may find you have a long wait for a place unless you are prepared to volunteer. If you wanted a place in my units for example it wouldn't be until at least Jan 2014 and prob not until the Easter, that I had a place available in either unit as our waiting list is that long. But there are plenty of units, particularly city ones or more rural ones with no waiting lists at all.

seeker Sun 16-Dec-12 07:54:14

Rainbows vary from unit to unit depending on the volunteers who run them

But, if I may? Do please keep an eye on the gravitating to older girls thing. It can be a problem- sometimes a child's peer group can find it alienating, and the older children irritating.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 08:14:59

There will be other DCs there who are 'well ahead of their curve'. They are not educating the DC so I can't see that it would even be a problem if she were ahead academically. They are great for life skills and socialisation.
The best thing is to send her along for a session to try it out and see if she likes it.
The group is as good as the leaders and remember they are all volunteers. It is done in a shoe string. You will have to pay subs, they need to hire halls, buy equipment, pay for heating etc. They are excellent value for money.

HappilyUnhinged Mon 17-Dec-12 10:41:51

I'd have no problem volunteering. I'd only be hanging around outside waiting for it to finish otherwise. My single problem with volunteering is that I like the idea of DD doing something without me involved. Still, I'll wait to see what response I get back from my enquiry.

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