Rainbow Paper

I get asked by so many homeschooling families what we use for our science curriculum or if I worry about teaching them "enough" science but I really don't.

We love science and I'm always looking for fun science experiments.

 I also feel that science is covered just by observing life, asking questions and figuring out solutions.

 Much of science is observation, looking for answers to questions, and trial and error.  But my boys love science best when we can find something fun to make or do; like making paper rainbows!

Today we made rainbow paper.  The only materials we needed were:

  • small pieces of black construction paper
  • clear nail polish
  • a bowl of water
  • sunlight streaming in through our windows.

I gathered the supplies (and read these instructions) before calling the boys over to get started.  I find it's best for me to be prepared and have everything handy before I get all the extra "help."

It figured that as soon as we all sat down and started on our experiment that the sky clouded up and the sun went away.  We were able to see some small rainbows using our kitchen lights but it was a bit disappointing! The results on the other blog look so much better!

It was nice and easy and fairly mess-free though.

The experiment prompted a nice discussion about rainbows, light, the colors of the spectrum, and bending lights.

Step 1: We put just enough warm water in the bowl to lay our pieces of paper on & have it all be covered.

Step 2: We then dropped a bit of clear nail polish into the water and watched it swirl.  We immediately set our paper on the surface of the water and pulled them right back out.

Even before they were dry we could see swirls of colors.  I kept one paper handy to "clean" the top of water since the nail polish will harden and form a layer on top of the water fairly quickly.

Step 3: We kept cleaning off the water and dropping a bit more polish into the water until each of the boys had two turns each.  Not really even meaning to we had a very neat looking cleaning paper by the time we were done too; it reminded the boys of a spider web with a bit of a rainbow thrown in here and there.

All it all it probably only took 5 minutes and clean up was a snap; my favorite type of experiment!

Our spider web clean up page! 

You can see a few rainbows here too. 
Linking Up With:


  1. I love when art project turn into science projects or the other way around. :-) This one is pretty cool.


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