Make Your Own Rainbow 

To make your own rainbow, all you need is a plastic baggie, a sheet of white paper, some sun, and these step-by-step Raindrop in a Bag instructions from Rainbow Science author Artemis Roehrig. 

Rainbow Science celebrates everything rainbow, from the science of sunlight to the prism in raindrops to how our eyes see all the colors that make up a rainbow. In this fun Raindrop in a Bag activity, kids are rainbow scientists and learn how to make their own rainbows—no (real) rain required!

Photo by Kimberly Thompson Panay © Storey Publishing.

Make a raindrop using a plastic baggie. Then, go test out this rainbow fact: A raindrop can make light refract.

Illustration © Sarah Walsh/Lilla Rogers Studio.


  1. Fill a plastic baggie with water, and seal or twist it closed.
  2. Hold up a piece of white paper so the sun shines directly on it.
  3. Hold your baggie in the sun’s path, so the light travels through the water before hitting the paper.
  4. Move the baggie closer and farther away from the paper slowly until you find a rainbow.

What’s Happening?

Your water-filled plastic baggie acts like a raindrop. When the sunlight passes through the water it bends and breaks apart into the different colors of a rainbow.

Illustration © Sarah Walsh/Lilla Rogers Studio.

Excerpted and adapted from Rainbow Science © Artemis Roehrig.

TIP: When you are done finding rainbows, you can use your water-filled baggie as a magnifying glass!

Artemis Roehrig

About the Author

Artemis Roehrig is a children’s book coauthor and wrote the text for Super, Strong Tattoo Sharks, Roaring, Rumbling Tattoo DinosaursCreepy, Crawly Tattoo Bugs, and Fluttery, Friendly Tattoo Butterflies and Other Insects. She grew up in western Massachusetts and spent summers on Cape Cod, where she worked at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. After graduating from Skidmore College, she received her master’s degree from the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program at the University of Massachusetts. She continues to research invasive insects in the Elkinton Lab.

Sarah Walsh is an artist and illustrator with over 20 years of experience illustrating children’s books. Clients for her bright and quirky art style have included The Washington Post, PBS, The British Museum, Crate & Barrel, Hallmark, and more. She earned her BFA in Graphic Design in upstate New York and now resides in Kansas City with her partner, son, and dog. She can be found at

Learn more about this author

Related Books