The Physics of Rainbows

The Physics of Rainbows at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Marci

I can’t think of anything that stops young and old in their tracks and makes them smile at the wonder of creation quite like rainbows. They are a welcome bright spot on a rainy day and a sign of hope for all.

Rainbows, in all their beauty, can be used to teach physics, particularly the physics of light. I guess that makes it the physics of rainbows!

What is light? (And what does it have to do with color?)

Light is an array of electromagnetic waves that are visible to the eye. The varying wavelengths of light create color. When waves of light hit an object, certain wavelengths are absorbed and others are reflected. We see those reflected wavelengths of light as color. For example, if you see green leaves on a tree, the color being reflected by the leaves is green.

When we see the color black, that object is absorbing almost all the wavelengths of light. (That is why black shirts and cars get so hot in the summertime – they are absorbing all those hot rays of sunlight.)

White objects are actually a combination of all colors. They reflect all the wavelengths of light.

How does light make a rainbow?

When sunlight passes through raindrops in the sky, the drops act like tiny prisms that bend, or refract, the sunlight. This bending causes the light to separate into its separate wavelengths of color which reflect back to our eyes causing us to see the rainbow.

The Physics of Rainbows at The Happy Housewife

When do rainbows occur?

Rainbows are seen when sun is shining through raindrops and the viewer is between the sun and those raindrops. The sun needs to be low in the sky (morning or early evening) for this to happen.

Can you make your own rainbow?

The Physics of Rainbows at The Happy Housewife

Yes! All you need is water and light.

  1. Garden Hose Rainbow – On a sunny day, spray water from a garden hose into the air. Make sure you are between the water and the sun. A rainbow will appear.
  2. Use A Prism – Get a prism and a piece of white paper. Allow sunlight or light from a flashlight to shine through the prism. Position the paper so that the light from the prism shines on the paper. This light should be in the form of a rainbow!
  3. Make A Water Prism – Fill a glass ¾ full of water. Place the glass on a white piece of paper. Set the glass where sunlight or a flashlight can shine through it. The water in the glass will act like a prism and bend the light into a rainbow on the white paper. The angle of light can be adjusted until you see the rainbow.

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The Physics of Rainbows

The Physics of Rainbows at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Marci

I can’t think of anything that stops young and old in their tracks and makes them smile at the wonder of creation quite like rainbows. They are a welcome bright spot on a rainy day and a sign of hope for all.

Rainbows, in all their beauty, can be used to teach physics, particularly the physics of light. I guess that makes it the physics of rainbows!

What is light? (And what does it have to do with color?)

Light is an array of electromagnetic waves that are visible to the eye. The varying wavelengths of light create color. When waves of light hit an object, certain wavelengths are absorbed and others are reflected. We see those reflected wavelengths of light as color. For example, if you see green leaves on a tree, the color being reflected by the leaves is green.

When we see the color black, that object is absorbing almost all the wavelengths of light. (That is why black shirts and cars get so hot in the summertime – they are absorbing all those hot rays of sunlight.)

White objects are actually a combination of all colors. They reflect all the wavelengths of light.

How does light make a rainbow?

When sunlight passes through raindrops in the sky, the drops act like tiny prisms that bend, or refract, the sunlight. This bending causes the light to separate into its separate wavelengths of color which reflect back to our eyes causing us to see the rainbow.

The Physics of Rainbows at The Happy Housewife

When do rainbows occur?

Rainbows are seen when sun is shining through raindrops and the viewer is between the sun and those raindrops. The sun needs to be low in the sky (morning or early evening) for this to happen.

Can you make your own rainbow?

The Physics of Rainbows at The Happy Housewife

Yes! All you need is water and light.

  1. Garden Hose Rainbow – On a sunny day, spray water from a garden hose into the air. Make sure you are between the water and the sun. A rainbow will appear.
  2. Use A Prism – Get a prism and a piece of white paper. Allow sunlight or light from a flashlight to shine through the prism. Position the paper so that the light from the prism shines on the paper. This light should be in the form of a rainbow!
  3. Make A Water Prism – Fill a glass ¾ full of water. Place the glass on a white piece of paper. Set the glass where sunlight or a flashlight can shine through it. The water in the glass will act like a prism and bend the light into a rainbow on the white paper. The angle of light can be adjusted until you see the rainbow.

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Beth

This cute, easy-sew waterproof art smock took less than an hour from beginning to end, and it’s completely adjustable so it will fit your child perfectly. There is no pattern to print – just use one of your child’s tank tops for sizing!

I used a remnant of fabric that I found in the clearance rack at my favorite hobby store. It’s flannel backed vinyl which makes this smock perfectly water resistant and great for painting projects. It’s super cute while keeping her clothes clean and safe from spills.

Money Saving Tip: Use an old vinyl tablecloth to create several smocks for all the kids.

Supplies Needed

  • Scissors or pinking shears
  • ~½ yard flannel backed vinyl (you can also recycle an old vinyl tablecloth)
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • 2 yards grosgrain ribbon
  • marker or pencil (for tracing pattern onto flannel backing)
  • child’s tank top (for creating the pattern)

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Supplies) at The Happy Housewife

Instructions

1. Cut the ribbon into two 12-inch pieces and two 24-inch pieces.

2. On the flannel side of your fabric, trace out the pattern of the tank top you’re using (or trace onto the front if you want to center the pattern). Add 1 inch to the arm opening area and  2 inches all around the rest of the tank top.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 2) at The Happy Housewife

3. Cut out the fabric according to your outline.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 3) at The Happy Housewife

4. Hem the edges. Starting from the top of one shoulder strap and using a zigzag stitch, sew a ¼ inch hem around the arm area and down the side. Sew the same hem from the shoulder down on the other side. Sew another hem along the neckline and then also along the bottom hem.

Now all edges have been finished except the very top of the shoulders.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 4) at The Happy Housewife

5. Attach the 12-inch ribbon.

Pin the right side of the 12-inch ribbon to the right side of the smock.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 5) at The Happy Housewife

Then sew a zigzag stitch ¼ inch from the edge to secure the ribbon.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 5) at The Happy Housewife

Now turn up the ribbon and sew a straight stitch ? inch from the edge of the shoulder. This is a simple way to finish the shoulders so that only finished edges are showing.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 5) at The Happy Housewife

Repeat on the other shoulder.

6. Attach the 24-inch ribbon.

Pin the right side of the 24-inch ribbon to the top of the wrong side of the smock where the arm area begins. (The unfinished ribbon edge should be on the back of the smock.) Attach the ribbon to the smock with a zigzag stitch.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 6) at The Happy Housewife

Repeat to attach the final piece of ribbon to the other side of the smock.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 6) at The Happy Housewife

You’re all finished!

I really like this smock and it was very simple to put together. The only thing I would change next time would probably be to trace out the pattern onto the front of the fabric. That’s because this print is so cute and I would much rather have it centered than off to the side like it turned out.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Back) at The Happy HousewifeEasy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock at The Happy HousewifeEasy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock at The Happy Housewife

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Gardener’s Hand Scrub

The following is a guest post from Merissa from LittleHouseLiving.com.

Do you hear it? The birds have begun their yearly song…spring has arrived! On our little farm, this is a time of great preparation. I’ve started working on some simple meal plans that will get us through the summer when it’s too hot to want to cook much and when we are too busy to go to town often for groceries.

I’ve already planted my seedling starts and in just a few weeks it will be warm enough here in South Dakota to plant them outside in my garden.

I love to garden. It’s been my passion for many years to use my garden to provide as much food as I possibly can for my family. But of course, we all know that it’s not easy or clean work! We not only have a garden to sustain ourselves but we also plant extras to preserve food for winter and to sell at the local farmer’s market. By the end of the day I’m tired and full of dirt.

The signs of a good gardener right?!

handscrub1

That’s when I pull out my jar of Gardener’s Hand Scrub to clean and freshen up. It’s so simple to make with just a few basic ingredients! Today I’m sharing the recipe with you so that you can enjoy using it this summer just as much as I do.

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (white or brown will work)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  •  ½ cup coconut oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and the salt.
  • In another bowl, melt the coconut oil until it’s liquid. (Or you can stick it in the microwave for a few seconds.)
  • Pour the coconut oil over the sugar mixture and mix all the ingredients together until the sugar is thoroughly coated.
  • Add a few drops of the tea tree essential oil and give the mixture another stir to incorporate it throughout, then pour the scrub into a container or jar that can hold at least 2 cups.

Store in your bathroom or wherever where you regularly wash your hands after coming in from outside.

The sugar and salt will scrub any garden goo from your hands.

handscrub2

The coconut oil helps to rehydrate your hands after you’ve worked with them and scrubbed them clean, and the tea tree oil is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antimicrobial, so it adds several great properties to the scrub. You could also replace the tea tree oil with lavender essential oil since it has similar properties.

This simple hand scrub will help to keep your hands clean and free of dirt, no matter how much you work in your garden this summer!

Merissa Alink loves making the most with what she has and she blogs all about it on Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life   

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