10 Rainbow facts for kids

10 Rainbow facts for kids
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Children all over the country are drawing and painting rainbows to spread a message of hope. They’re even sculpting rainbows from our squishy squashy Playfoam. Because science learning is fun, here are 10 rainbow facts for kids that surprised even us!

Learning Resources Playfoam rainbow created to spread a message of hope and 10 rainbow facts for kids

When you’re getting creative to spread hope by painting, sculpting and colouring rainbows, tag us in your pictures on Facebook and Instagram. We love seeing your posts and sharing them with our fans, like we’ve done here.

Learning Resources Playfoam sculpted into a rainbow for 10 rainbow facts for kids for home learning

Discover 10 rainbow facts for kids

  • Rainbows are multi-coloured arcs that form in the sky and are created when sunlight shines through the water. As a result, light reflects off the water droplets, bends (called refraction) and splits.
  • When sunlight shines through the water droplets, it splits into seven colours. These are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. This is called light spectrum and an easy way to remember the colours in order is to use the name Roy G. Biv.
  • The outer colour of a rainbow is normally red, and the inner colour is normally violet. However sometimes red rainbows are visible where you only see red light. This can happen at sunrise or sunset when the sun is on the horizon.
  • To see a rainbow, you need to be standing so the sun so the sun is behind you, and the water in front of you.
  • A rainbow can be a full circle of light. Because you’re normally standing on the ground when you look at one, you only see half of it. However if you were in an aeroplane you would see more of the circle.
Picture of a rainbow over the Thames to show 10 rainbow facts for kids for home learning

Fun rainbow facts for kids! Check out the double rainbow over the Thames river in London.
Image: Marinopili/Getty Images

  • You don’t only see a rainbow after it rains as rainbows can occur anywhere there’s water in the air. In other words, you could even see one if there’s sea spray at the beach or spray at a big, crashing waterfall.
  • Sometimes, you may even be lucky enough to see a double rainbow and this is caused by the light reflecting twice in the raindrops.
  • The moon can also create rainbows, they’re called moonbows! They’re just like rainbows made by the sun, but are made by the moon instead. On earth, we even see fogbows which is where light reflects and refracts through fog to create a soft rainbow. Watch this video to learn more about unusual rainbows.
  • Many cultures around the world have a myth about rainbows and the most famous is from Ireland. The Irish legend is that there’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but it’s guarded by a tricky mythological creature called a leprechaun. Do you think you’ll ever find the end of the rainbow and nab that pot of gold?
  • Make a rainbow at home! You don’t need to wait for a rainstorm to see a rainbow because you can use our GeoSafari Discovery Prism. The smooth edges bend and split light and as a result, you’ll see the colours of the rainbow.

The next time you spot a cheerful rainbow, see how many of these facts you can remember. Why not try this rainbow-inspired activity to learn more about sorting and patterning?

Make a rainbow in a box! This cool STEM activity from the National Space Centre’s Space Crafts page is a fun idea for older children to learn about the colours in the rainbow spectrum.

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