Making Rainbows

My little scientist loves rainbows and today we make some together. Help your little one explore science by creating rainbows.


Making Rainbows (34)

Plastic Prism (Triangle Shaped), Or Play Diamond, Or Plastic Crystal Decorative, Or Clear Item With Flat Angles ( The more different flat angles the more rainbows)



**Never look into the sun, remind your little one before starting this rainbow fun**

1. Gather supplies and talk to your little one about how Rainbows are colorful. Ask them questions like when was the last time you seen a rainbow, what was the weather like, where did you see the rainbow?

2. Give your little scientist different materials to play with in the sunshine, ask them to look around and see if they can find any rainbows.


3. Have fun watching your little scientist explore and join in the fun by showing them how you can angle the different materials to create rainbows.

Talking Points

Rainbows are created when white light is slowed down so that you can see all of the colors. The prisms (Solid with angles flat sides that are the same size and parallel) allowed us to separate the white light into the visible spectrum ROYGBIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. When the light entered our prism it slowed down and bent this process is called refraction. When the light bent it separated into the different colors showing a rainbow because each of the colors in the visible spectrum have a different size wavelength or the distance between the tops of each new wave of light with red being the longest and violet the shortest. Because the wavelength of each color is different we always see rainbow colors in the same order.

When you see a double rainbow the top rainbow is always upside down. This happens because when you see a double rainbow it is a reflection (bouncing off of light, like in a mirror) of the first rainbow.

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