How to make a rainbow

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Children love to learn and experiment with new things. Try this simple science experiments that is fun to do and will teach your children about refraction of light.

Supported by the GGNZ Programme Team


• Glass of water
• White paper
• Direct sunlight


Take a glass of water and paper to a part of the room where there is a window and direct sunlight.
Hold the glass of water above the paper and watch as sunlight passes through the glass of water and forms a rainbow of colours on your sheet of paper.
You can move the paper around a little to see different reflections.

• Rainbows occur when sunlight refracts (bends) as it passes through water. The sunlight refracts, separating it into the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
• This is why you can often see a rainbow after a rain shower - the sunlight is refracted through raindrops to create a rainbow in the sky.


  • Light
  • Rainbow
  • rainbow, glass, sheet of paper
  • STEM

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