was successfully added to your cart.


All Posts By


Peer Pressure and the Teen Reframing toolkit

By | Peer Pressure

Peer pressure - teenage mental health

I would love to share more with you about the Rainbow Card exploring peer pressure in the Reframing Your Thoughts toolkit for teenagers.

The front of the Rainbow Card has the following reframe  – “My friends keep making me do things that I don’t want to do (this is called peer pressure)” vs “I don’t have to agree to do anything that I don’t feel comfortable doing because my identity, views and values matter and are important”.

The back of the Rainbow Card starts off by recognising how it can be hard not to give in to peer pressure.  It goes on to explain, however, that giving in to this can mean turning away from our own identity and values in favour of someone else’s.  It highlights to the reader how they deserve to live according to their own values and points out that, while they might not be in control of how their friends act, they are in control of how they respond.

The Rainbow Card then goes on to offer a number of helpful and practical suggestions of different things that teens can do to help prepare themselves for when they are in a situation facing peer pressure.  It also goes on to suggest that, if the reader repeatedly finds themselves in situations where they are facing pressure to do things that they don’t feel comfortable doing, they might want to re-evaluate their friendships.  Ideas of questions they could ask themselves to help them to think things through are offered.

The Rainbow Card then reminds the reader that teens are learning so much about themselves during this time and, as part of this, some friendships can change over time.

They are also signposted to other Rainbow Cards in the toolkit exploring friendships and bullying.  Additional Rainbow Cards explore a number of areas related to self-esteem which also offer useful food for thought.

Finally, to help aid their thinking (and in light of the support they have just read), the reader is asked to think about how they might respond if they find themselves in a situation where they are facing peer pressure.

Here’s to helping teens know that their identity and values matter.

An introduction to mindfulness

By | Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is essentially about giving your full attention to the present moment.  This could involve focusing on many different things such as your breathing, how your body feels right now, the taste and texture of the food that you are eating, the different sounds you are hearing while you are out walking and so on.  Whatever it is that you are focusing on, this gains your full attention while you allow yourself to slow down, and allow your body to relax while you take the time to notice what is happening without any judgement.  By ‘no judgement’, I mean that we simply allow the experience to happen without debating in our minds whether it is a good or bad experience and so on.  Instead, we just allow the experience to be.

Why is mindfulness a good thing to do?

The science shows us that mindfulness can offer many physical and mental health benefits.  It is very easy to go through life simply reacting to things without really taking the time to pause, sit with our emotions and feelings, and think before we react.  Mindfulness is a great tool for helping us to pause and take the time to respond to different situations in a thoughtful way.  It gives us the opportunity to become more aware of ourselves, our surroundings, our thoughts and how we feel.  It can help us to manage all sorts of big feelings such as stress, worry, anxiety and anger; help us to sleep better; help us to feel more patient, at ease; and it can generally increase our sense of wellbeing.  Mindfulness can also help us to get better at other things like paying attention, organising information, remembering details and even improve on our social interactions with others.

How can I practise mindfulness?

As mentioned earlier, there are many different things we can focus on when practising mindfulness.  I start off below with an example of how we can practise mindfulness by focusing on our breathing.  This example then moves on to look at how we can use mindfulness to help calm our big emotions and feelings.

Mindfulness with a focus on our breathing

Paying full attention to your breathing is a great way to focus and help your mind and body feel calm.

  • Firstly, find somewhere comfortable to sit or lay for a few minutes (or you do not have to be sitting and could practise this anywhere really, even when walking down the street). If you are sitting or lying down, you may wish to also close your eyes.
  • You can then start to focus on your breathing.
  • Breathe in deeply through the nose for a count of three, hold for a count of three and then breathe out again slowly through the mouth for a count of six.
  • Calmly notice each breath as it goes in and each breath as it goes out. Feel your shoulders drop a little and your body start to relax as you continue to concentrate on your breathing.
  • Take the time to notice what happens to your body with each breath. Perhaps you feel your chest rising and lowering again.  You might also feel your belly go up and down with each breath.  Perhaps you notice feeling the air in your nostrils each time you breathe in.
  • You might like to put your hand on your belly and count each time your belly rises as you breathe in and each time your belly lowers again as you breathe out.
  • Your mind will wander sometimes. This is perfectly normal.  When this happens you can calmly take your mind back to your breath.
  • Continue to notice and pay attention to the movements in your body with each breath. Always making sure to calmly redirect your mind back to your breathing each time it begins to wander.
  • Repeat your mindful breaths 10 times (or as many times as you would like).

Using mindfulness to help manage big emotions and feelings

With lots of practise, you can start to use mindfulness to help you to manage different things like your big emotions and feelings.  For example, if something is making you feel stressed or anxious, you could try the following.

  • Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a moment to pause and slow things down a bit by taking some deep breaths as outlined in the mindful exercise above.
  • You can listen to your body and ask yourself if you recognise how your big emotions are feeling in your body right now (e.g. maybe you notice some tension in your shoulders or your mouth may feel dry).
  • Make a point not to judge or try to push what you are feeling away. Trying to fight it can just help it go grow.  Instead, recognise and name what it is that you are feeling, become an observer, and just let it be (‘I can feel that my body is experiencing some stress at this time.  That’s OK.  Everyone gets stressed from time to time’).  The very act of just letting it be (rather than trying to fight and suppress it) can often help the feeling to float away and help you to feel calm again.
  • All the while, continuing to feel your deep breaths in and your deep breaths out. If your mind starts to wander, you can gently guide your mind back to your breathing and noticing the feeling in your shoulders as it starts to loosen up and feel more at ease.

Final words

The more you practise mindfulness (even if just for five minutes a day), the more effective at it you can become.   Remember also that you can practise it anywhere (you don’t always have to close your eyes) and with many different things.  For example, as touched on above, you may like to fully concentrate on: the food that you are eating – the taste, textures and flavours; the different sounds such as the leaves rustling, the birds singing, the sound of a car or plane while out walking; or even taking a moment to pause and think about some kind things you would like to say to someone you care about; and some kind thoughts you would like to say to yourself about you too.

Values behind Little Wise Toys

By | Values

I would love to share the values behind Little Wise Toys, all of which are driven by a lot of passion.

  • Taking things back to basics with an old school way of learning.  No screens, flashing lights or loud noises.  But plenty of opportunity for interaction, imagination, creativity and fun and engaging learning opportunities.
  • Investing a lot of time researching and exploring the evidence for each of the toolkits during the product development phase.
  • Providing accessible ways for parents and carers to support children’s learning and development where you don’t need to be an expert in areas such phonics, maths, emotional health, early learning frameworks and so on as the kits provide all of the guidance you need.
  • While also providing professionals working with children and young people in a range of settings engaging toolkits they can use to support the development of children and young people’s key life skills.
  • Creating accessible products that help to lay invaluable foundations in children and young people’s development from an early age.
  • Designing gender neutral and culturally diverse toys and resources. There are so many different important skills to be gained from different toys and resources. If certain types are directed at boys, and other types are directed at girls, then both boys and girls can lose out on the different developmental opportunities. This is why I was keen for my products to be accessible for everyone to use and enjoy. I am also proud to be a Let Toys Be Toys good practice award holder.
  • Ensuring that the kits include a number of environmentally friendly credentials (e.g. all paper and card used is either recycled or from a sustainable source; the magnet used in the boards is from a company operating a zero landfill policy; and the felt used to make the finger puppets is also environmentally friendly). Plus there’s a section in the collage kits focused on introducing climate change to children and how we can all help with this.
  • A whole lot of gratitude to everyone who supports Little Wise Toys. I love taking the time to include a personalised handwritten note with each order as a way of showing my appreciation.

You can find out more about Little Wise Toys here.

Seven benefits of hands-on learning

By | Hands-on learning

maths pre-school activity learning and educational toy. Hands-on learning.

When creating the Little Wise Toys range of educational toys for 3-6 year olds, one of the important things I wanted to do was create opportunities for hands-on learning.  This is because the benefits of this type of learning from a young age are very powerful.  In this blog I will share seven ways that the hands-on approach of the Little Wise Toys activity sets (and this type of learning in general) can benefit young children.

What is hands-on learning?

Firstly, what exactly is hands-on learning?  It is a process of ‘learning by doing’, rather than simply being told about something. The term is used because it usually involves physically using the hands.

Seven benefits of hands-on learning

  1.  When children learn with both their hands and their minds they are more likely to be fully engaged in the learning process as well as more focused and motivated to learn.  This is because a child is an active participant in the activity, rather than simply being shown what to do.  This can also encourage a longer attention span which can, in turn, help children to build knowledge and increase their long-term memory.
  2. Hands-on activities also allow children to use their senses while learning. When playing with the Little Wise Toys kits children can see, touch, and move real objects to complete tasks. This means that the letters, numbers, shapes, colours, characters and so on are brought to life. In turn, this can really help children to begin to understand the meaning behind what they are doing.
  3. Because hands-on learning enables children to get involved in the learning process, it can also make it more fun. For example, children can select and use the variety of tabs in the Little Wise Box of Maths for counting, sorting and organising instead of just being taught the theory via books or pencil and paper exercises; they can bring stories to life and explore how the world works using the themed boards and characters in the collage kits; they can also get hands on using their emotions tabs while exploring and learning about emotions and feelings in the Little Wise Box of Emotions; and they can hunt out different letters and start to bring new words to life by selecting, organising and placing them on their magnetic tablet in the Little Wise Box of Phonics.
  4. Hands-on learning is great for brain development too.  This is because when activities require multiple processes such as using the hands, talking and listening, more areas of the brain are activated than with activities that involve single processes.  This can help to expand and strengthen neural connections in the brain, which is essential in the early years of life.
  5. Introducing this type of learning from a young age is also great for nurturing problem solving skills.  This is because it allows children to think on their feet as well as give them the confidence needed to solve problems.
  6. An additional benefit of ‘learning by doing’ is that it provides the opportunity for children to keep on practising until they are able to work something out.  I remember one mum who bought the Little Wise Box of Maths sharing how their daughter loved that they didn’t need to keep on rubbing things out but could just keep on playing around with the different tabs until they solved the problem.
  7. Last, but by no means least, hands-on activities are great for strengthening fine motor skills.  These are skills associated with the smaller muscles in the hands that are needed for gripping and grasping.  The very act of using the Little Wise Toys kits and picking up and placing the different magnetic tabs helps to strengthen these.  In turn, this also helps young children with additional important areas such as handling pencils, rubbers, scissors, cutlery and so on.

Here’s to all of the benefits that hands-on learning offers and making learning fun and engaging for all the wise little ones out there.

Managing anger & the Reframing Your Thoughts Toolkit for 6-12 year olds

By | Top tips

Managing anger. Children’s emotions. Helping my child to manage their emotions

✨Managing anger…✨

A lot of the gems in the Reframing Your Thoughts toolkit are in the small-print on the back of each card.  Here you will find a wealth of insight and practical support that children can use to help them to bring each reframe on the front of each card to life.  I’d like to share more about what is on the back of the anger card to give you an example.

The front of the anger card has the following reframe – ‘I’m feeling really angry and it’s all your fault’ vs ‘I’m feeling really angry right now. I’m going to calm myself down. Then I will think about what I can do’.

The back of the anger card starts off by letting children know that anger is actually a normal emotion that everybody feels and, when expressed in a healthy and positive way, it can provide opportunities for learning and change (e.g. it can be useful as it can let us know different things, such as when something doesn’t feel OK).  In other words, it’s not an emotion that we need to suppress or feel ashamed of.  It’s how we manage and react to it that’s important.

The card then goes on to explain how different things can happen to our bodies when big emotions such as anger arise because our body is preparing itself to protect us (e.g. faster breathing to give us more oxygen and sweating to help keep the body cool).  A sense of understanding what is happening when big emotions arise can be such a big help.

With this in mind, this is also why the back of the anger card then goes on to talk about how lots of other emotions and feelings are often hidden beneath the surface of anger and how it’s worthwhile thinking about what underlying feelings might be causing the anger.

The card then explores different practical things that children can do to help them to manage their anger when it arises.

Finally, a couple of questions are then asked to help children to think about how they can apply the relevant reframe to situations that happen in their own lives, and think about how they can apply the learning.

One of the things I’m really delighted to be hearing is how the toolkit is opening up lots of conversations and offering a valuable insight into what’s going on in children’s minds. As well as helping children to think about and approach things in life in a different way.

Here’s to helping children to open up and lay those all important foundations of social and emotional intelligence that they can benefit from for years to come.

Five ways to help children to manage big emotions and feelings

By | Feelings

On World Mental Health Day I would like to talk about some things we can communicate with children about their emotions and feelings. I will touch on a small number of areas that are explored further in the Little Wise Box of Emotions for 3-6 year olds and the Reframing Your Thoughts toolkit for 6-12 year olds.

The activity sets highlight how validating children’s feelings by offering empathy can be powerful as feeling understood can help to calm big feelings and emotions (e.g. ‘I can understand why it feels disappointing’).

Seeing another perspective
As well as validating their feelings, we can ask helpful questions to encourage children to see another viewpoint.  For example, rather than saying ‘You’ll do better next time’ or ‘It’s not a big deal’ (it probably is to them), we could say, ‘It can be disappointing when things don’t work out how you had hoped.  What do you think you might be able to do differently next time?’.

All emotions and feelings are OK
As a further example, the activity sets also talk about the importance of letting children know that it is absolutely OK to experience all sorts of different emotions and feelings (including more challenging ones).  They are not things that need to be suppressed.  Actually, trying to do this can even help challenging feelings to grow and become more overwhelming.  It is much better to learn to acknowledge big feelings and work with them to achieve a more helpful outcome.

How we react to our feelings is important
We can also let children know that it is how they react to their feelings that is important.  For example, when children act out in a way that isn’t helpful or appropriate, instead of them feeling that they are somehow bad because of how they behaved, we can offer an empathetic and constructive approach, while also setting boundaries.  For example, ‘I understand it can be frustrating when…  But it’s not OK to…  Let’s look for a better way to respond to this situation’.

Keep talking
And, of course, a key thing we can do is to open the door to conversations with children about their emotions and feelings and, in turn, help them to see that it is absolutely OK for them to talk about their emotions and feelings too.

I hope this small selection of highlights above offer some useful food for thought.

Home – schooling lesson about racism

By | Homeschooling lesson about racism

Racism homeschooling lesson

My nine year old daughter and I spent yesterday afternoon exploring racism as part of her homeschooling.  My mum is from Jamaica, my dad is from England and racism is an area that I have spoken about informally with my daughter a few times over the years.  We have talked about how things have evolved over time through sharing stories such as Rosa Parks and her role in ending segregation on public transport in America.  We have talked about the tragic case of George Floyd and how this is another example that has shone a torch on the fact that there is still much that we need to do to rid of racism in society today.  Yesterday we really delved in and explored this area in some depth.  We did a fair bit of research, had lots of discussions, and I thought that I would share our main findings in case they are of help to anyone else looking to explore this area with their children too.  Here’s what we discovered…

What is race?
Firstly, before looking at what racism is, I wanted us to understand what race is.  In short, this is ever so complex.  A race can be seen as the idea that the human species is divided into different groups on the basis of inherited physical and behavioural differences (e.g. the African race, the European race and the Asian race).  Race is therefore often seen as something that is inherent in our biology, and is therefore inherited across generations through the genes.  However, modern scientific studies have shown that human physical variations tend to overlap between different racial groups and that genes cannot be used to identify distinct racial groups. In fact, DNA tests have shown that all humans have much more in common, genetically, than they have differences.

Many modern scientists argue that race is actually a social construct that is used to categorise and characterise seemingly distinct and different populations.  But the reality is far more complex than this.  Africa, for example, has been shown to be the most diverse continent on Earth.  As a further example, in America, people identified as African Americans do not share one common set of physical characteristics. Instead they have a great range of skin colours, hair colours and textures, facial features, body sizes, and other physical traits.

As one scientist argues, human genetic variation is real.  However, we would be best placed to continue to study human genetic variation free of the constraining idea of race.  This is because genetic variation is an incredibly complex result of evolution which should not be reduced to race.  Similarly, he argues, race is real, it just isn’t genetic. It is a culturally created phenomenon. Because of the inability of scientists to group people into different racial packages, many modern researchers have concluded that the concept of race has no biological validity.

The study of race is of course worthy of a book, rather than the short few paragraphs here.  Although hopefully these short few paragraphs offer lots of food for thought.

What is racism?
Next we explored what racism means.  After our research, here’s the definition that we both came up with… “Racism is where someone thinks that they are better than people of a different ‘race’ (e.g. a white person thinking that they are better than a black person).  Racism is not good and it should 100% be stopped.”

What is ethnicity?
Next I thought, OK, now we know what race and racism is, but what is ethnicity and where does this fit in?  Again, this is another hugely complex area, but after our research, here’s a starting point definition that we came up with… “Ethnicity often refers to the way in which someone identifies with learned aspects of themselves (e.g. nationality, language and culture).”  As with race, ethnicity is also said to be socially constructed.  It is also something that can change over time in the course of one’s life.

The impact of race and ethnicity
While modern scientists argue that race and ethnicity have no genetic basis, the social concept of both of these can still have a significant impact on shaping human experiences.  Racial bias can fuel social exclusion, discrimination and even violence against people from certain social groups.  There are many historical examples of this such as the Apartheid in South Africa where people were forced to live separately based on race and their skin colour; and segregation in America where people were also segregated because of race and skin colour.  In both cases, black people were seen to be inferior.  The tragic recent killing of George Floyd highlights the very important ongoing need to tackle racism in society still today.

Another historical example of racism, where race was used to create political power and dominance, is the Holocaust.  Germany’s Nazi party was led by a man named Adolf Hitler and he wanted to create what he thought was ‘the best and strongest’ race.  To the Nazi party this meant getting rid of many different groups of people – most notably the Jews, but also other groups such as Gypsies, gay people, black people and those with physical disabilities.  Millions were killed during the Holocaust in the most horrific way.

Every year on 27th January, it is Holocaust Memorial Day.  This event is an important reminder of how important it is to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and differences and not to exclude people or spread hate within society.

What is white privilege?
Something else I wanted to explore with my daughter is what we mean by the sometimes confusing term, white privilege.  I found a good quote about what white privilege is by JT Flowers who is a 26 year old American rapper, student and activist living in the UK.  He feels that some people get defensive about this term because it is misunderstood and people can think of it as a term implying that people have basic rights and benefits simply because they are white.  This is what he had to say… “You might be a white person and still be poor with a lack of access to education or face a language barrier in the workplace.  It doesn’t mean you can’t be disadvantaged in other ways.  It just means that with respect to that one particular thing – your race and skin colour – you do have the luxury of not being able to think about it.  It means having the luxury of being able to step outside without fearing that you’re going to be discriminated against or oppressed in any way because of the colour of your skin.”

We then went on to discuss a personal experience to explore this further.  The other day, on Instagram, I saw an image of a little black girl aged about eight holding a poster which said… “We said that black lives matter.  We never said that ONLY black lives matter.  We know that ALL lives matter.  We just need YOUR HELP with #BlackLivesMatter for black lives are in danger.”

A white person commented on this post saying “Shouldn’t this girl be out playing with her princess dolls?  Why is she being dragged into this debate?”  I thought ‘Wow’ on so many different levels when I read this comment.  I thought about whether to reply.  Then I decided that I must, as uncomfortable as it might be.

I replied saying:  “When I was this girls age I was the only non-white person in my year at school and I was bullied by a minority of children in my class because of the colour of my skin (I won’t include some of the words here as they are pretty offensive to repeat).  When I was a bit older, about 12, I remember walking in my local very white high street with two of my 12 year old white friends, and a grown man shouted out to me… ‘Go back to Brixton where you come from you black *#+*.’  Whether I liked it or not, racism was something very real when I was the same age as the girl in the photo because it was a part of my life.  Just as it is probably a part of the girl’s life that is holding up the poster in the image.  Please think carefully before you write such comments.”  I checked back the next day and, interestingly, her comment had disappeared.

I had never shared these experiences with my daughter before yesterday (it is not something I tend to talk about very often generally really) and she was pretty wide eyed.  This led us to the final part of our learning lesson where we explored what people can do to help stop racism.

What can we do to help stop racism?
We started off this section by looking at the following quote by Edmund Burke…

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

We used this quote, the personal experience I shared above, and also some examples of heroic figures involved in the fight against racism over the years to help us to think through what things we could all do to help stamp it out.  Here’s the list we came up with…

1 Don’t accept abuse.

2 Stand up for others being abused.

3 Ask a grown up for help.

4 Read, learn and take the time to properly understand racism.

5 Be kind.

I would like to finish off by sharing two quotes by Martin Luther King.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I really hope that there is some useful material in here that can form part of your conversations with your children about racism.

Colour Activity

By | Activities
homeschool craft ideas

My daughter and I had a lot of fun with a creative art project that I would love to share in case you fancy having a go.  There is ample opportunity for learning too and it makes a great homeschooling project.   The idea started by accident really.  We were doing some gardening.  We were about to put all the leaves we had cut into the garden bin, when I suddenly thought, hold on, we could make something fun with these beautiful big leaves.  We settled on the idea of making a colour garden by painting all of the leaves and creating a collage.

You just need the following items:

–        some leaves;
–        paint (acrylic paint works well);
–        water;
–        double sided sticky tape (or a normal tape which can be folded);
–        a large sheet of paper or card; and
–        a mix of different things to paint the leaves with (e.g. paint brushes, kitchen roll, a section of a scouring pad and whatever else you can think of).

In short, we collected some leaves, had lots of fun painting the leaves with lots of different tools and methods, and then created a collage on a large sheet of paper (we cut off a sheet of wrapping paper so we could get a nice size sheet).

home education activity idea

We had tubes of acrylic paint in the primary colours (blue, red and yellow) plus a tube of black and one of white.  We made good use of these colours and we mixed lots of colours too (for example, we made purple by mixing blue and red, lilac by mixing blue, red and white and orange by mixing red and yellow).

homeschooling art and craft ideas

As well as exploring different colour mixes, we experimented with textures by painting the leaves with different tools and methods in addition to using different paintbrushes.  For example, we screwed up a piece of kitchen roll into a ball, dunked this into some paint and then dabbed this onto the leaves.  We also cut off a piece of a scouring pad and dabbed the paint on the leaves with this too.  A really fun additional method we used (thanks to my mum for this suggestion) was to mix the acrylic paints with some water to make the paint much wetter.  We then applied this to the leaves and hung them up to dry on the washing line.  This created all sorts of fun patterns on the leaves as the paint travelled freely over the leaves.  We had a hunt around the garden to see what else we could use and a stem from the Christmas tree in the garden worked a treat too.

home education art and craft activities early years

homeschool and home education art and craft activities

Once all of the leaves were dry, we then cut out a large piece of wrapping paper and had fun attaching all of the different leaves (some painted and some left natural) to the paper to create the colour garden.  We applied the leaves to the paper with double sided tape.

As there are lots of different stages to this project, it’s a nice one to run over a couple of days.  We started off doing some gardening and collecting the leaves one afternoon; the next afternoon we painted the leaves and left them out to dry; and the final afternoon we painted a few more and assembled all of the leaves to create the garden collage.

homeschool and home education craft activity ideas

To add a further learning angle to his project, here are some fun facts you can share with wise little ones about colours…


Fun facts about colours

Visible light is made of seven wavelength groups. These are the colours you see in a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Primary colours are blue, red and yellow. Primary colours cannot be made from other colours.

Secondary colours are made by mixing two primary colours. For example: If you mix red and yellow you get orange; if you mix blue and yellow you get green; and if you mix blue and red you get purple.

Colours like red, yellow and orange are considered warm colours and can make you feel calm and cosy. It is also believed that red causes people to feel angry.

Cool colours like blue, green and purple are also thought to make people feel calm and relaxed.  In addition, blue is believed to make people feel sad (hence the term ‘feeling blue’).

Yellow is believed to make you hungry. This is why you will often see a lot of yellow in restaurant signs!

Some people are born without the ability to see all colours and are colour blind.   They may be unable to tell the difference between certain colours like red and green, or they may not be able to see blue, for example.

Women can identify more shades of red than a man can.

The most popular colour in the world is blue!

Rainbow activity & fun facts

By | Nature

Rainbow science for kids

There is so much to learn about the beautiful rainbow.  At the end of this blog you will find lots of rainbow fun facts all about these beauties.  Firstly, we’re going to take a look at how you can create your very own rainbow.  Not only that, but we’re also going to look at how you can make light bend (when you have a read through the fun facts you’ll discover why bending light is an important part of the formation of a rainbow).

How to make a rainbow

All you need is a garden hose, a sunny day and permission to head outside.  You need to stand in a position where the sun is behind you.  Next, you need to turn the hose on and put your thumb over the nozzle where the water comes out so that it comes out as a spray (or you might have one of those hoses where you can set it to the spray setting).  Hold the hose out in front of you and spray the water out.  You should start to see a rainbow forming.  If this doesn’t work, you could try moving the hose up or down a bit.  If it still isn’t working, you might need to wait until the sun is shining a bit more brightly as you need plenty of light for this experiment.

Watch light bend

As you’ll discover in the rainbow fun facts below, bending light is key to the formation of a rainbow.  You can carry out your own experiment so that you can watch light bend.  All you need is a table, a glass of water and a pencil.

Placed the glass of water on the table and put the pencil inside with part of it peeking out the top of the water.  Firstly look at the pencil through the side of the glass.  Then at the top of the glass.  Then take the pencil back out of the water and look at it again.  What difference did you notice?  Did you notice that when you looked at the pencil through the side of the glass it looked bent?  This happened because when light passes through the glass and water it hits your eye from different angles than it normally would and makes the pencil look bent.

Try also holding the pencil right up against the side of the glass that is nearest to you and then slowly move it to the other side of the glass.  Can you notice any difference?  The pencil should look bigger and bigger as it moves further away.  This is because the more water there is between you and the pencil, the bigger the pencil will look!

Now let’s look at some fun facts about rainbows…

Rainbow fun facts

The rainbow is a multi-coloured arc appearing in the sky.

Rainbows are formed when light shines through water (e.g. like when the sun shines through the rain). This light is bent and reflected, like a reflection in a mirror, and this creates all of the colours that you see in a rainbow.

While rainbows normally appear from the rain, they can actually happen wherever light is being bent inside of water droplets (e.g. in mist, fog, spray, and dew).

Most of the time light looks white, but it is actually made up of seven colours.  These are the colours that you see in the rainbow in the following order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (ROY G BIV is a great way to remember these colours and their order).  Issac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician. He identified the 7 colours of the visible spectrum that together make up white light.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to see a double rainbow (and very rarely a third and fourth).  A “double rainbow” is caused by the light reflecting twice inside the water droplets.

I hope you enjoyed this fun learning topic about rainbows.