Visual Arts: Rainbow Paper

Materials
• A bowl filled with water
• Clear Nail Polish
• Rectangles of black construction paper or black card stock (about 3-5 inches long on the sides)
• Paper towels

Special Notes
• The rainbow paper experiment is simple, but it does take some patience to get it just right. • Regarding nail polish fumes. Conduct this experiment in a ventilated area with good air circulation. If you have a child that is especially sensitive to strong smells it may be best to do this experiment outside or make special adjustments for the child.

Procedure
• To do this activity successfully it needs to be done quickly.
• Drip one little drop of nail polish into the bowl of water. The nail polish dries quickly on the surface of the water, which creates a film that won’t stick to the paper.
• Dip the paper into the water within 10-15 seconds after the drop of nail polish goes in. If the nail polish does create a dry film on top, simply scoop it off and try again more quickly! • Set the pieces of rainbow paper onto paper towels to dry.
• Watch how different each piece of paper turns out.
• Once the paper is dry (this only takes a few minutes) tilt the paper in different directions to see the rainbow patterns appear. Hold it next to a sunny window for best results!

Alternately
• Place the paper under the water
• Drip one drop of clear nail polish on top of it. The nail polish disperses across the surface of the water within a couple of seconds. Once the nail polish spreads out, it’s safe to pull the paper out of the water, coating it with a thin film of clear nail polish.
• Experiment to see which technique

 

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