KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Saint Patrick's Day is often associated with rainbows and good luck, so we came up with some kid-friendly crafts that can also be educational.
RAINBOW SUN CATCHER
The pretty colors can catch anyone's eye, but a rainbow is also a good time to teach kids about refraction. When we see a rainbow in the sky, it's sunlight being refracted in a raindrop and revealing the color spectrum of the light. So, we are able to see the rainbow. This is called a Sundog when it has not rained, and then the light is refracted by moisture in the air. (Same concept, just didn't rain.)
You can create a "rainbow with a prism. These crystals can be found at most craft stores.
String the prism on the bottom and get creative with colorful beads. A suction-cup hook is a good, simple way to put your Rainbow Sun Catcher in any window.
This is great for kids that are learning more about science. It's a simple example of chemical reactions.
- dull pennies
- 1/4 cup white vinegar (dilute acetic acid)
- 1 teaspoon salt (NaCl)
- 1 clear glass or plastic bowl (not metal)
- measuring spoons
- paper towels
Mix the salt and vinegar in the bowl until the salt dissolves. Put your pennies in the mixture, and the cleaning action will be visible for several seconds. After 5 minutes, take the pennies out, rinse water, and pat dry.
You're actually witnessing two chemical reactions. The copper pennies themselves are dull and dingy thanks to a reaction with oxygen, creating the film on the penny called copper oxide. The acid in the vinegar dissolves the copper oxide, giving you shiny pennies again.
Kids can decorate a custom St. Patrick's Day card with the pennies. Let them spell out Lucky, and you've had thrown in spelling practice the little ones.
To see these projects and more, click on the "Pinspiration" board on Heather's Pinterest page, http://www.pinterest.com/wvltheather, or Erin Barnett's Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/wvlterinbarnett.