Rainy day activities – colour wheels and optical illusions

With still the best part of two weeks before school starts, the weather has turned from bright sunshine to dull and rainy, which has scuppered some of my plans for activities for my boys (well, for Tadpole, at least, as Choochie is happy turning a toy over in his hands). So I had to break out a couple of my rainy day activities today.

The first was the colour wheel experiment. I remember doing this at school when I wasn’t much older than Tadpole (he’s almost six years old now, can you believe it?). I got out some card and drew round a small bowl, then cut out the circles. Next I drew lines across the diameter to divide the circles into eight sections. We each took eight differently coloured felt-tipped pens and carefully coloured in each section. Next, I stuck the circles back to back (if you have card that is white on both sides, you’ll only need one circle coloured on both sides, but I only had card that had hologram patterns on the back), and threaded some yarn through to make a loop.

Then came the fun part – we wound up our colour spinner and then let it go to see what happened. Of course, when all the colours spin together, you see white – all the colours disappear!

Our second experiment was an optical illusion – on one disc we drew an empty fish bowl, and on the other, a little fish. We stuck the back to back with a loop of yarn between so we could wind it up. If you do it that way, you have to make sure that one picture is the right way up and the other is upside down. You can also stick them back to back on the end of a stick to spin, but if you do it that way. make sure both pictures are the right way up!

Tadpole was delighted when his little fish appeared to be in the bowl!

I think we might try a bird and cage one on a stick to see which way works best. Either way, it kept Tadpole entertained making them and he’s still playing with them now… He’s having fun and he’s learned something, which is a double-whammy-win.


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