I don’t know about you but I have been dying for a tad bit of color around here. We have had our fair share of snow and winter and enjoyed enough winter experiments. Now, we are ready to move on to some more colorful experiments by experimenting with colors and rainbows. Today’s experiment is super simple but so cool… do you know how to flip a rainbow?
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Don’t laugh when you see just how easy this science experiment (or demonstration) is. However, your kids will think you are the coolest person on the planet if you show them this trick.
It all started one day when I was across from my kids at the dinner table with my glass of water. The boys were doing their schoolwork and they noticed that the words on my shirt were… wait for it, backwards. They didn’t understand. It was only through the glass of water and not in “real life”. How could this be? In order to share with them the science behind it, I chose to use a rainbow (because why not, they are so pretty) to demonstrate.
How to Flip a Rainbow
Markers (We love sharpies)
Tall glass or vase
Other items to test
Measuring Tape or Rulers
Setting up your experiment to flip a rainbow:
Set up takes about 2 minutes (depending on just how fast you are with your rainbow drawing). If you are a regular here, you know just how much I like to have the children 100% involved in everything we do. Well, full disclosure… this day was particularly hectic between therapy sessions and meltdowns that I just drew the rainbow for the kids.
We have since done this activity again with other images and with kid drawn rainbows but I just wanted you to know that… No, my 8 or 10 year old did not make such a pretty rainbow.
Like I started to say, set up is super simple. Simply color a row of rainbow colors from left to right on your paper. Attach your paper to a wall, a white board, or even hold it up (my arms get too tired). Then fill your vase with water and you are ready to go.
How to Flip a Rainbow… Super Simple Science
Are you ready? Watch closely now…
Did you see that? Boom… it flipped. The red is on the right and the purple is on the left. SO COOL, right? Did your kids say WOAH… do it again? Good!
It really is that simple. This is a basic demonstration of light refraction (bending of the light) and reflection. Now, to turn this into more of a discovery station or an experiment, you could challenge your children to measure the distance from the paper to the vase and document how changing this distance changes the way the image is flipped. Does this work with all items? Does it only work with water? Does it work if the glass is rectangular and flat?
So many questions to dig into… like what really makes a rainbow? Luckily, we did that this week too! So hop on over and find out a simple way you can make a rainbow at home too.
Now comes the best part! I have joined with some of my favorite people to bring you some of the latest Kids Activities. This month we are focusing on …. Throughout the year, we will gather together and share all sorts of ideas from crafts to sensory play. Be sure to subscribe and follow along so you don’t miss any posts from this awesome series.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Rainbow in a Bag – No Mess Art // Powerful Mothering
Rainbow Letters Race to the Top // Stay at Home Educator
Color and Shape Match Up // Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Stack a Stone Rainbow // Adventures of Adam
Rainbow Pasta Threading // Play and Learn Everyday
Rainbow Tinker Tray // Still Playing School
How to Flip a Rainbow | Simple Science for Kids // Lemon Lime Adventures
Rainbow Sun Craft // Fairy Poppins
Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises // Sugar Aunts
Beginning Sound Rainbows // Playdough to Plato
DIY Rainbow Crayon Names // Pre-K Pages
Rainbow Puzzle Skip Counting // Creative Inclusion
Rainbow Bear Color Matching Game // Life Over Cs
Rainbow Marble Painting Process Art // Preschool Inspirations
DIY Paper Plate Loom: Rainbow Yarn Art // Sugar Spice and Glitter
Rainbow Sight Words // The Kindergarten Connection
Rainbow Math with a DIY Abacus // Fun-a-Day
Rainbow Fact Family Board Game // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Simple Rainbow Sensory Bottle for Kids // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Rainbow Paint Chip Color Match // Modern Preschool
Roll a Rainbow // The STEM Laboratory
(Not Shown) Rainbow Perler Bead Key Ring // Teach Me Mommy