Here’s a fun science experiment for kids all about rainbows! Have fun making rainbow reflections and exploring all the colors and designs that are created!
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Materials for Rainbow Reflection Science for Kids
- Blank white paper
Procedure for Exploring Rainbow Reflections
- Look carefully at the blank side of a CD. What do you see? What happens when you tilt it back and forth?
- Find a dark room in your house. Place the CD on the floor.
- Tape a piece of white paper to your wall. Aim the flashlight at the CD so that it makes the rainbow reflect onto your blank paper. What colors do you see? What different patterns can you make by moving the flashlight around?
Question to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking
How do you think the colors are getting onto the paper?
Experiment with changing the distance from the CD to the paper. What happens? Why?
Lucy’s Observations & Comments: “I saw the rainbow come up and go on the wall.” “The rainbow is reflecting off the CD!” “There’s so many different kinds of rainbows.”
What’s Going On
White light (like light from the flashlight) is made up of 7 colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). The CD separates the white light into the 7 colors that make it up, where they then reflect onto the wall. A CD is made of aluminum (and covered with a clear coat of plastic.) It also has ridges in the metal which the light reflects off of.
Want to go even further?
Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages:
- Have someone hold the flashlight for you. Use some crayons to trace the rainbow pattern made by the reflection.
- On a sunny day, spray a hose outside. Can you see a rainbow in the spray of water?
- Can you find other items in your home that might cause a rainbow reflection?
Be sure not to miss these other fun science activities on Buggy and Buddy:
- Exploring Surface Tension with Paperclips
- Create a Homemade Marble Run
- 10 Easy to Set Up Science Experiments for Kids