Make A Rainbow

By | February 28, 2014

Rainbow made with Single Led Flashlight

Are you ready for some St. Patrick’s Day Science?  I sure am, and this year I wanted to make a rainbow with my girls.  I have to say making a rainbow in the house is a lot easier than what I thought it would be, and it is a lot of fun too.

We decided to do this at night since it is much easier to see the rainbow in the dark.  However we could have just gone into a room and closed the curtains too but I was being dramatic and building the excitement up for the girls by waiting for it to be dark enough.  Then we set everything up and took turns holding the light and making rainbows.  I also asked each of the girls to tell me what colors they saw.  They were able to see Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, and Purple.  We had a hard time seeing green in this experiment but the girls did not seem to notice.

Both girls had a blast and thought it was really cool that we made a rainbow.  My oldest now wants to find a rainbow and follow it to the gold, um that was not in the lesson here.  But I guess when Spring comes around we can go on a rainbow hunt and talk more about refraction and reflection because there is no way to get to the end of a rainbow.  Or since my daughter is only six, I could just tell her those Leprechauns are pretty sneaky moving that rainbow on us!  Either way I can see a rainbow hunt in my not to distant future.

NOTE: on the type of light you use.  We used a few different flash lights for this experiment and got the best results with a Single Bulb Led Light.  Our second best results was with my daughters Lantern with the top off (the picture at the bottom of the post is with that one).  We had no luck with the multi bulb lights.

What is happening with this experiment? As the light enters the glass the water refracts (bends) the light which causes it to separate into the colors of the rainbow, then the mirror reflects that light onto your white wall.

In nature a rainbow forms when a bunch of rain drops refract the sun light, and depending on where you are standing and the  angle of the rainbow depends on what colors you will see.  Have you ever noticed how a rainbow seems to move with you?

Visit our Kids Science Pintrest Board for more fun Science Experiments! And check out all our other Science Experiments HERE!


Clear Glass Jar
Small Rock
Small Mirror that will fit in your jar
Single Bulb LED light


Jar with water and mirror in itFill your jar with water and then place rock and mirror on bottom with mirror slightly tilted toward you

Rainbow making set upSet your jar next to a white wall or white board, then turn out the lights

Dauther #1 making a rainbowShine your light into the jar toward your mirror

Daughter #2 making a rainbowYou may have to move the light around until you can see the Rainbow on your white wall

Rainbow Made with lantern

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5 thoughts on “Make A Rainbow

  1. Amber Day Hicks

    I cannot wait to show my 10 year old daughter this! She’s going to dig it! Thank you! Thanks for linking up with #LOBS weekend! ~A~

  2. Brittnei

    You guys seriously do it all. I’ve never seen or even remember doing this ever when I was a kid. I love that it shows them about rainbows :) Thanks for sharing this one with us too at Countdown in Style!

  3. April

    Very cool. We saw a rainbow yesterday and I realized that we hadn’t even touched on rainbows at home. I need to work with my daughter on drawing and understanding rainbows! My son would love this too! Thanks for sharing with Countdown in Style.

  4. Jill

    My kids will love this activity! I am adding this into our week!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!


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