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  • Brenda

Creating Rainbows

I think it’s safe to say that we are all fascinated by rainbows and I still get a feeling of joy and wonder when I see a rainbow in the sky or simply appearing on the floor or wall of the classroom, or anywhere….

In Ireland we often link rainbows with leprechauns and other fairy folk, again taking the child’s imagination on a journey.

Rainbows fascinate children and always generate wonder, interest and questions.




It is at this point that most adults will reach for their phone or tablet to be able to answer their questions! But don’t rush in to answer their questions with exact scientific explanations. It is important to allow your child to form their own thoughts and hypotheses about what is happening. Challenge your own knowledge together with your child and experience the feeling of wonder and amazement that they express on their journey of discovery.

Encourage their ideas and suggest that they might like to draw their idea as to how the rainbow happens.

When children get the opportunity to work things out for themselves (albeit with your ‘I wonder how?’ and ‘I wonder if?’ suggestions and provocations) their learning and understanding is greater and will form the foundation for future learning and understanding. It is also powerful for supporting their sense of ‘I can’.

So let’s be rainbow makers

What will you need?

· A glass dish of any shape

· A mirror that fits in the dish

· A bottle or a jug of water (enough to fill the dish but part of the mirror needs to be left out of the water)

· A torch or

· you can use the sunshine coming directly through the window

Place everything on the table so your child can see what is needed to make the rainbow.

Be patient rainbows are very shy and they prefer to stay hidden …….

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