Science for Kids: Making Rainbow Reflections

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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Making & Exploring Rainbow Reflections- Science for Kids

It’s time for some more fun science for kids!  Last week we experimented with plant pigments. This week are going to experiment with rainbow reflections! (This post contains affiliate links.)

Materials for Rainbow Reflection Science for Kids

Procedure for Exploring Rainbow Reflections

  1. Look carefully at the blank side of a CD. What do you see? What happens when you tilt it back and forth?
  2. Find a dark room in your house. Place the CD on the floor.
  3. 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?

Making rainbow reflections with a flashlight

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?

Rainbow reflection science for kids

 rainbow reflection science


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.”

Science experiments for kids with 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.

rainbow reflection science for kids

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:


Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids


  1. How clever! We love flashlight play. Great blog. . .I just subscribed!

  2. This is so brilliant. Thanks for sharing with the Pin It Party. I am now following ALL of your boards! Hope that doesn’t sound too stalker like but am so delighted to have come across your blog 🙂

  3. Chelsey, I love all the activities you’ve posted in this series. You have really clever and simple ideas that anyone can replicate with their little ones. My little guy would be fascinated by this investigation. Can’t wait to try it with him. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Ann. I just love science, and it’s been so fun sharing my love of it with the kids. Hope you enjoy trying it!

  4. Wonderful exploration for kids.

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  5. So neat and fun!! My daughter would love this! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  6. We tried this when my kids were younger and it was PURE entertainment.

  7. My kids love rainbows. I love how you created them. We have seen them in oily puddles.

  8. Now I’m trying to remember if I did something similar in physics or chemistry, it seems like it would be a chemistry lesson……

  9. What a simple yet ingenious idea! My daughter’s been playing with a prism recently, she will like this too. Thank you for sharing. Lucinda (via Hobbies & Handicrafts)

  10. I love this! Great ideas for further exploration too!


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