Famous scientist, Isaac Newton discovered that light is made up of many colors. Learn more by making your own spinning color wheel! Can you make white light from all the different colors? We love fun and do-able physics activities for kids!

NEWTON’S SPINNING COLOR WHEEL FOR KIDS

NEWTON’S COLOR WHEEL

Famous scientist, Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, and author who is thought of as one of the most influential mathematicians and scientists of all time. He was born in 1643 and died in 1747.

Newton is best known for his discoveries of calculus, the composition of light, the three laws of motion and universal gravitation.

Newton invented the first color wheel in the 17th Century after he discovered the visible spectrum of light. That is the wavelengths of light that can be seen with the naked eye.

Through his experiments passing light through a prism, Newton demonstrated that there were 7 colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) that make up the visible spectrum or clear white light. We know these as the colors of the rainbow.

When Newton presented his conclusions about dividing sunlight into primary colors and mixing them back together into white light, he used a color circle.

Find out how to make your own color circle below for a simple and fun physics experiment. Create a spinning color wheel and demonstrate that white light is really a combination of 7 colors. Let’s get started!

PHYSICS FOR KIDS

Physics is simply put, the study of matter and energy and the interaction between the two.

How did the Universe begin? You might not have the answer to that question! However, you can use fun and easy physics experiments to get your kids thinking, observing, questioning, and experimenting.

Let’s keep it simple for our junior scientists! Physics is all about energy and matter and the relationship they share with one another.

Like all sciences, physics is all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Keep in mind that some physics experiments can involve chemistry too!

Kids are great for questioning everything, and we want to encourage…

  • listening
  • observing
  • exploring
  • experimenting
  • reinventing
  • testing
  • evaluating
  • questioning
  • critical thinking
  • and more…..

With everyday budget friendly supplies, you can easily do awesome physics projects at home or on the classroom!

Click here to get your free printable Newton’s Disc project!

SPINNING COLOR DISC

SUPPLIES:

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: Print the color wheel template and color each section with markers. Use blue, purple, green, red, orange, and yellow.

STEP 2: Cut out the wheel and cut a circle of the same size out of cardboard.

STEP 3: Glue the color wheel to the cardboard.

STEP 4: Punch two holes in the middle with a small nail.

STEP 5: Insert the ends of the string (8 ft of string, folded in half) into each little hole. Pull through so each side is even, and tie the two ends together.

STEP 6: Spin the wheel toward you, while holding the ends of the string in each hand. Continue to spin until the string tightens and twists.

STEP 7: Pull your hands apart when you are ready to spin the circle. Pull harder to make it spin faster. Watch the colors blur and then seem to lighten or disappear!

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

At first you will see the colors quickly spinning. As you spin the disc faster, you will start to see the colors blending, until they completely blend together and appear white. If you aren’t seeing this happen, try spinning the disc even faster.

Spinning the disc blends all the different wavelengths of coloured light together, creating white light. The faster you move the disc, the more white light you see. This process is called colour addition.

MORE FUN COLOR ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Explore light and refraction when you make rainbows using a variety of simple supplies.

Set up a simple mirror activity for preschool science.

Learn more about the color wheel with our printable color wheel worksheets.

Learn about primary colors and complimentary colors with an easy color mixing activity that includes a bit of science, art and problem solving.

SPINNING COLOR WHEEL FOR KIDS PHYSICS

Click on the image below or on the link for more fun physics experiments for kids.