Rainbows can sometimes feel like magic, and so can time spent in a classroom. Bringing spring into the classroom is the perfect way to celebrate the magic of spring and nature! This amazing science experiment brings rainbow beauty to the fingertips of little learners with a hands-on rainbow! This Magic Rainbow Science Experiment for kids is a great way to bring rainbows into your classroom!

– Life Over C's Two photos showing a rainbow science experiment using markers and a paper towel.

Recommended Grade Level:

Magic Rainbow Science Experiment Craft Supplies:

  • markers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
  • paper towel
  • small bowl of water
  • dropper
  • plastic mat
  • white cardstock paper (3 sheets)

Table of Contents

How to use Magic Rainbow Science Experiment for Kids in the Classroom:

Spring and rainbows are the perfect marriage- they go together perfectly! This Magic Rainbow Science Experiment is the perfect thing to add to a spring or rainbow unit!

Early Childhood Science Education is a great thing to teach in collaboration with art, as they usually tie in perfectly as a culminating activity. In this case, teachers could actually use the Magic Rainbow Science Experiment as an introduction to the scientific method. You can present the materials to the children, and have them make predictions about what may happen.

You can also take this time to talk about the science behind the Magic Rainbow Scinece Experiment. This is a great opportunity to teach concepts about the following vocabulary words: dissolve, spread and react!

Need MORE Rainbow Classroom Activities?

More Information about the Magic Rainbow Science Experiment:

One of the best parts of this rainbow science experiment is that the supplies are very minimal and mostly things you have around the classroom. You can do this experiment together as a class, or you can supply each student with the supplies needed to make a magic rainbow on their own!

Materials You Will Need for Magic Rainbow Science Experiment:

  • markers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
  • paper towel
  • small bowl of water
  • dropper
  • plastic mat
  • white cardstock paper (3 sheets)
– Life Over C's Overhead photo of the supplies for a rainbow marker STEM experiment.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Magic Rainbow Science Experiment:

Step One:

Although you have cardstock, you’re not going to be drawing on it! Lay a piece of cardstock on the table, and then place a paper towel on top of it. Then draw your rainbow!

– Life Over C's Someone is using a blue marker to draw a blue arc next to red, orange, yellow, & green arcs on a paper towel.

Step Two:

Fill up a dropper with water and drop water onto the paper towel one drop at a time. The slower you drop the water, the more you can observe the colors spread on the paper towel.

Teacher Tip: If you want to keep your workspace from getting wet, you can lay a plastic mat or saran wrap on the table under your paper towel. If you don’t have one, the water will spread onto the work area.

– Life Over C's Someone is using a pipette to drop water on a paper towel with a rainbow drawn on it.

Step Three:

After you have spread the marker on the paper towel and have the rainbow looking how you want, grab a new piece of cardstock and press down gently.

– Life Over C's Overhead view showing a wet paper towel with a rainbow drawn on it.

Step Four:

Remove the top piece of cardstock and lift the paper towel to see the stamp on the bottom piece of cardstock.

– Life Over C's Overhead view of a rainbow imprint on a piece of cardstock paper.

Step Five:

It’s a rainbow palooza! At the end of this experiment, you can have up to 3 different pieces of art work – the bottom page, the top page, and the paper towel itself! 

– Life Over C's Photo showing the finished rainbow STEM art project.

Yay! You did it. What now?

This is a great piece to hang in a window and watch how the sun shines through these beautiful rainbow prints! They can be up through the spring during “rainbow season”!

Ways to Adapt/Modify/Differentiate the Magic Rainbow Science Experiment:

More Ways to Explore Spring- Themed Activities:

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter what kind of marker you use?

Most marker ink will spread on paper towels. For the largest reaction, using a washable brand is going to give you the best result. We highly suggest Crayola. But any washable marker will give you the same effect!

How can I do this activity if I don’t have a water dropper?

Without a water dropper, you can still make this Magic Rainbow Science Experiment! If you want to use a Q-tip, a tiny sponge, or even a spoon to bring out a little bit of water at a time.

– Life Over C's spring theme math and literacy activities for preschool and pre-k

35+ Spring Math and Literacy Activities

– Life Over C's preschool math and literacy activities for spring
– Life Over C's Spring theme preschool math and literacy activities
– Life Over C's Spring theme preschool math and literacy activities

Included in the Spring Math and Literacy Activities:

  • 2 Sets of Spring Number Mats (empty ten-frame, heart filled ten-frame)
  • Strawberry Beginning Sound Match Up
  • 4 Sets of Spring Clip Cards (color, ten-frame, array, shape)
  • Spring Flower Color Sort
  • Class Set of Spring BINGO
  • 2 Graphing Dice Games (Matching pictures and Numbers 1-6)
  • 2 Spinner Graphing Games
  • Spring Theme Line Tracing Cards & Picture Tracing Cards
  • Line-Up Puzzles for Counting to 5 & 10
  • 4 Matching Games (picture, number, alphabet, rhyme)
  • Strawberry Missing Number Cards
  • 3 Levels of AB Patterns
  • Spring Shape Play Dough Mats
  • 2 Sets of Counting to 10 Puzzles (array, ten-frame)
  • Spring Shape Puzzles
  • 2 Roll and Count Mats
  • 2 Sets of Spring Sorting Activities (shapes and numbers 1-10)
  • 5 Spin & Cover Games (1-5, 6-10, shape, picture)
  • Raindrop Ten-Frame Cards
  • Spring Bugs Tic-Tac-Toe
  • 4 Sets of Tracing Cards (uppercase, lowercase, number, shape)
  • Visual Discernment Clip Cards (What does not belong?)
  • Trace, Write & Draw the Room

Recapping the Magic Rainbow Science Experiment

Much like real rainbows, each is unique and different. Be sure to comment if you changed the color scheme of these rainbows, and let us know how your students felt about this experiment!

Do you love this activity?

Pin it for later!

– Life Over C's Overhead view of someone dropping water onto a paper towel with a marker rainbow drawn on it.

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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