Magic Rainbows

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

These two experiments are quick, easy, and fun to watch!


🔲 six clear glass jars or cups

🔲 food coloring (red, blue & yellow)

🔲 water

🔲 paper towels

🔲 black permanent marker

🔲 non-permanent markers in various colors


To Make:

Begin with six clear glasses set up in a circle formation. Add water to three of the glasses (every other one) about 3/4 full.

Place a few drops of food coloring in the glasses that have water and stir to mix.

Take six paper towels and fold them in half. Then fold them in half again.

Gently place one end of each paper towel into a cup with water and then place the other end into the adjacent cup.

You will notice the colored water start to crawl up the paper towels.

Leave the experiment alone for a few hours and watch what happens!

The glasses that were empty begin to fill with water of different colors!

Did you grow all the colors of the rainbow? 🌈



While the growing rainbow experiment is working it’s magic, you can move on to this fun activity.

Take a paper towel and fold it in half. Begin drawing a rainbow with black permanent marker.

You will need to press fairly hard because you want to be able to see some of the outline when you open the paper towel. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a general idea. Our paper towels were really absorbent, so we found that after we drew the lines, going back and making dots helped us see the lines on the inside. (Also, be sure to protect your table!!)

Then open the paper towel and begin coloring the rainbow within the lines that bled through. Do NOT color on the front of the paper towel!

Once your rainbow is colored on the inside of

the paper towel, fold it back in half so that all you can see are the solid black lines.

Place a small amount of water in a shallow dish that is big enough to hold the paper towel. (A 9x13 glass pan is perfect!)

Gently place your black and white rainbow into the water and watch the colors magically appear!


Did your rainbows grow? Let us know by sharing your photos/video! ☀️

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