Have you ever seen a rainbow in the sky and wondered how to teach your kids about the science of rainbows? Or how you can use easy rainbow science experiments in teaching kids about other science concepts? Well, now is your chance to do both in a fun way!
Here, I’ll break down what makes a rainbow so special and how you can use your child’s fascination with rainbows while teaching them some important lessons along the way! I am sure your kids will love these easy, colorful, super fun (and sometimes fizzy!) science experiments!
Check out the list of rainbow-themed science experiments below!
For more rainbow-themed activities, see my bigger list of colorful Rainbow Activities for Kids!
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What Causes Rainbows?
Rainbows are created when the sun’s light shines on water droplets in the air. The sun’s rays are broken up into different colors as they pass through the water droplets, creating a spectrum of colors.
Refraction of Light
Rainbows occur because of an optical process called refraction. Refraction happens when light passes from one medium to another, like from air to water. When light passes through a medium, its speed changes and it bends inwards towards the normal line (the line drawn perpendicular to the surface). This bending causes the colors of the rainbow to appear as individual bands of color.
In order to understand how rainbows work, we need to look at the spectrum of visible light. Visible light consists of different wavelengths – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Each color has a different wavelength which makes them appear distinct from each other. When sunlight enters a raindrop it is refracted and reflected multiple times until it leaves the drop as white light which is then split into the individual colors of the spectrum before reaching our eyes.
The Angle Matters!
Rainbows are also dependent on angle. The angle between your eye and the sun needs to be just right in order for you to see a rainbow (it has to be around 42 degrees). If you try looking for a rainbow at any other angle, all you will see is white light because all seven colors will have blended together instead of separating into individual bands of color.
Don’t you just love rainbows?
Recommended Rainbow Books for Kids
KIDS LOVE COLORS! That is why grabbing these rainbow books for them is a great idea. With these books, they will learn how rainbows are formed and why everyone loves seeing them!
Rain Before RainbowsHow the Crayons Saved the RainbowThe Rainbow Beeall about RAINBOW: Encyclopedia Book for kids age 5 and upRainbow: Ready-to-Read Level 1 (Weather Ready-to-Reads)Did You Know? The Rainbow Edition
Recommended Rainbow Activity Kits
Your little one will enjoy hours of playing with this rainbow sensory tray! Grab this activity kit for a fun way to develop fine motor skills while they enjoy an educational imaginative play.
Get this rainbow-themed crafts box. Kids will love making colorful arts and crafts with this activity kit.
Rainbow science experiments are an excellent way for homeschool moms to help their kids learn about refraction while having fun at the same time.
By using basic materials such as jars, glasses, and flashlights, you can easily recreate rainbows right in your own home! So grab some supplies and get ready for some awesome rainbow science experiments today!
More Colorful Activities for Kids
Perler Bead Rainbow Engineering Challenge by STEAMsational