Visible Light
Light Sound and Waves

Garden Rainbow

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • A hosepipe
  • A garden
  • A sunny day


  1. Stand with your back to the Sun and turn on the hosepipe
  2. Put your thumb over the end of the hose to get a fine spray of water
  3. Look at the spray against a dark background such as a wall, hedge or grass
  4. Adjust your position and the fineness of the spray until you see a rainbow!

Results and Explanation

White light from the Sun is made up of light of different wavelengths, or colours.

The different wavelengths of light are bent by different amounts as they pass through the water, splitting the white light into all the colours of the rainbow.

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

The IOP is proud to present our new Forces CPD Domain

This is the first of a collection of videos for you to view ahead of our live support sessions for teachers and coaches of physics.

Find out more