Saturday, March 17, 2012

Motorized Rainbow Spinners - More Fun With Light and Color for Children


While we still had all the bits and bobs of our old electrical science kits out, I thought the younger girls might enjoy some more rainbow themed play. This time, instead of bending white light into a rainbow of colors, our objective was to blend them back together.

I printed an already colored rainbow spinner pattern from Ben's Coloring Pages, and glued it to a thin piece of cardboard before cutting it out...


...and poking a nail sized hole in the center, to slip onto the spinning arm of our hobby motor, topped with a little propeller cap, to keep the disk from flying off.

The girls helped me attach the motor to our battery pack (the hobby motor, wires with clips, and battery holder can all be purchased through Amazon, or at most Radio Shacks or hobby stores fairly inexpensively, though as I said, ours are all leftovers from old science kits, which in some cases can be even more cost effective).


We watched as the colors on our spinning disk...


...started to blend together...


...and then disappear into a creamy white.


The girls discovered they could bring the colors back by carefully (keeping away from the sharp cardboard edge) touching the top of the disk, so it wobbled. I couldn't catch it on camera, of course, but there was an added optical illusion of a rainbow outline around the girls fingers, for those of us looking at the spinning disk they were touching.


It kept the girls (ages 5 and 7) entertained for quite some time, until the spinning bar from the motor wore too large a hole in the wobbling cardboard, and the disk wouldn't spin anymore. Then, we made a few more disks, each with only two colors...


...which instead of disappearing when the disk started to spin, turned into a third color altogether.


It's great to be a homeschooler.

3 comments:

Phyllis said...

What a great idea! I never cared for spinning it myself, but a motor is a great idea!

Ticia said...

What a great idea to use the motor. I don't think I've ever successfully blended the colors like that.

Raising a Happy Child said...

Oh, how brilliant. We have to try it out with our snap circuit motor!