Explorify at home: Light
This collection of activities about light is ideal to do at home with your little explorers. Enjoy a good afternoon of science each week!
A rainbow in a landscape
Explorify at home is a special series of science activities for parents and carers of primary school children who are now learning at home. We define activities by age and curriculum topics in Explorify, but these collections are also suitable to do all together as a family of mixed aged children. Or if your little scientist just wants to explore further, pick something from the other age sections for inspiration! Teachers can find out about our full (free!) classroom resource at the bottom of this page.
Parents, read on!
This collection is all about light. We see things because light is reflected from them. Shadows form because light cannot pass through something.
For children aged 5-9
First, take a close-up look: Investigate shadows. Have fun looking at where and when shadows form, how you can make them bigger or smaller. If you can get outside at different times on a sunny day, see how shadows change their size and direction.
Indoors, try to make shadows with torches and your hands. You could even try to make shadow puppets to tell a story – all you will need to make a puppet is some thick paper or card from recycling to cut an outline shape of the character you need, and a stick or to mount it on. Shine the torch at the puppet and a shadow will form behind it.
Experiencing darkness can be quite difficult but is fun (and important). Can your children find a way to make a den that is light proof inside?
First, take a close-up look: A rainbow is formed when light passes through raindrops, which act like a prism altering the path of the light. As light is made of different wavelengths that are bent (refracted) by different amounts we see different colours.
Hands-on activity: You can make a rainbow at home. On a sunny day, experiment with placing a glass of water so that sunlight can pass through it but have something plain (paper or a blank wall) placed behind the glass so that you can see the colours. You may need to experiment with the placing of the glass. Alternatively stand the glass on a sheet of white paper and use a torch as the light source. Shine the torch through the glass to make a rainbow.
Watch more on BBC Bitesize Daily on reflected light.
That's all for this week!
We hope your little scientists have enjoyed exploring light this week. We'd love to know how you got on. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook or email us if you have any feedback on this collection.
Take it further:
- Visit STEM Learning, to explore their support for parents and carers with home learning.
- Watch the BBC Bitesize Daily programmes on light which will be available one week soon, and we will link above under your child's age. Previous programmes including versions for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found on the iPlayer.
- Browse our other collections – there's are more added each week!
Please note children should be supervised when doing any practical activity. Do not look directly at the sun.
Are you a primary school teacher who has yet to sign up to Explorify?
If you are a teacher who hasn't discovered Explorify before, you can sign up and explore the whole website with over 400 free activities. (It's free, as it's funded by charitable foundation Wellcome Trust. Our mission is to help you enhance your science teaching and get your pupils thinking like scientists!) We provide background science, to help you field questions from your pupils and ideas to take our curriculum-linked activities further. Something to get your teeth into for when you're back in the classroom!
Rainbow by Paweł Fijałkowski via Pexels; Shadow Puppets by klevo via Shutterstock SL; Prism by Dobromir Hristov via Pexels