Rainbow in a storm…

Easy, quick science exploration to go along with the building-a-rainbow one that didn’t work.

This doesn’t really demonstrate any of the scientific principles we’ve been learning about (“all colours of light are contained within white light”), but it’s easy and quick and a bit impressive to watch.  You could use it for an art class on colour mixing, as well.  (here’s another quick and easy colour-mixing art project we did a while back)


Scroll down to see the steps here (“Milk and Rainbows”).

And here’s the one that didn’t work, which we got from Mr Q Science, but which I looked up online because he doesn’t give a picture.  Looks quick and easy, and we even have a big glass pan.  But our flashlight is the wrong kind – it has several smaller LEDs instead of one big steady beam.  It doesn’t cast a light beam so much as emit unfocussed pale light in every possible direction.  :-(

(and it’s the only one in the house that I could find)

I’m trying to teach the kids that even when our science experiments (“explorations”) don’t work, it doesn’t disprove the scientific principle we’re investigating – it only proves how UN-scientific our environment is.  But sometimes, when I have done absolutely everything right… well, it’s frustrating.  Can’t scream because I’ve lost my voice.  Can’t throw things because every muscle aches.  Drat, I hate homeschooling with a cold.  :-(

Are you perennially foiled by science?  Or is there another homeschool subject you just can’t seem to “get to work”???


  1. Refuah shelaima!!! We also have a hard time getting science in, in a formal and consistent kind of way, but informally it always works better for us. Long time ago, we did a rainbow experiment that worked- put some water in a shallow container and insert a small mirror at an angle(play around with the angle to catch the sunlight) depending on how much light you can capture, you should get a rainbow on a wall or on some other white surface. Prisms and prism type beads are also fun to play with. Otherwise the kids liked let's read and find out science series, Real science4kids was liked by some, also how things Work and other books of that sort.

  2. Refuah Shelaima!!! Hope you are not too affected by the storm. We've done this rainbow experiment long long time ago and i seem to remember that it would only work for us on a very sunny day. In general I was never able to make science work in a formal and systematic way with lab reports, scientific method,controlled experiments, etc.( or history for that matter). But it has worked remarkably well in an informal, random, more interest based way with books, discussions, random snazzy experiments more for the wow factor than actual science, lots of DIY type concocting in the kitchen, very informal nature study, random biographies of scientists, explorers,construction toys, simple electricity kit,etc. I've come to the conclusion that the early years are best used for all the basics and also to develop the curiosity and love of learning in different fields and leave the in depth science for later. We have some nice reference books with good illustrations that lead to good science type discussions - an animal atlas by Kenneth Lilly, Back to Basics by reader's Digest, How things work and those type of books, gardening books, some let's read and find out books, one Real Science 4 kids that one of my sons liked but they are expensive and didn't appeal to all. When the big kids were younger I read some Magic School bus books to them editing out all the chutzpah:) We enjoyed some children's anatomy books too. But I rarely use all these easy experiment books that i have or any of the science curriculum that I picked up over the years.


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