Rainbow Sun Catcher Shadow Art

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By In The Playroom

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s a time for rainbows, sunshine and outdoor play to make more of an appearance in our days.

This rainbow sun catcher is a fun craft for sunny days, with lots of learning opportunities to tie in as kids explore shadows and light.

making a rainbow suncatcher for shadow play

Kids love to play with their shadows, and this playful sun catcher art project gives them an opportunity to create something unique and really special.


To make the rainbow suncatcher craft, you will need

  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Colored cellophane in rainbow colors
  • Sharp Knife
  • Glue

You also need a day with some nice bright sunlight for best results!

How to make a Rainbow Sun Catcher for outdoors Shadow Art

Learn to make a Rainbow Sun Catcher Shadow Art With Your Kids. We will walk you through how to make this simple yet effective rainbow shadow art project.

First, take your cardboard and cut out the rainbow shape (use our template below for help if needed)

You do not have to make space for all seven colours of the rainbow, approximate is fine and as you can see even with four colors you will still create a perfect rainbow effect. Add more if you want to.

With four spaces, you can go for red – yellow – blue – purple.

how to make a rainbow suncatcher for outdoor play

Once you have cut out the cardboard outline for the rainbow, attach the colored cellophane into each space or window.

Do this by gluing the colors firmly onto the back of the cardboard. You can use a hot glue gun for a long lasting firm hold.

That’s all! Once the glue is dried, your stunning rainbow suncatcher is ready to take outside and play with. Isn’t it beautiful?

rainbow cellophane shadow art

This fun activity is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of shadows and light, an early Science concept which helps them to build their understanding of the world around us.

Understanding Shadows and Light

When an object blocks the source of light, a shadow is formed.

Can the kids explain why the rainbow sun catcher allows the colors to be displayed on the ground? It’s because the cellophane is translucent, so some of the light passes through.

You can experiment with making another sun catcher using different materials like colored tissue paper (a tissue paper rainbow suncatcher is super cute to make to hang in the window) or experiment with rainbow colored liquid in bottles and compare the results.

exploring translucency and light reflection with colored liquids

Our main source of light is the sun. Let the kids experiment with their rainbow sun catcher and a torch and see if they can make some rainbow shadows indoors. Which light source works better?

Rainbow Template (Rainbow Outline)

You can use this printable template for the rainbow outline if you need help, either to trace if you are making a smaller rainbow or just to use as a guide.

rainbow outline template

Download PDF file

The file downloads in PDF format and prints by default to A4 size

Alternative Version

You can make a similar craft with just cardboard and a knife, if you don’t have colored cellophane to hand. Use the knife to cut out your child’s name, or different shapes and words to explore shadows in the sunlight.

shadow art name art

You can also have fun playing with shadows and light making shapes with your own bodies. What else can the kids find to make shadows? They will be excited to try all kinds of different shapes and objects.

playing with shadows outdoor summer science

More Rainbow Crafts

We all love rainbow crafts with their gorgeous bright colors. Rainbow crafts are perfect for Springtime, for St. Patrick’s Day in March, weather topics, or just to bring a smile to loved ones. Rainbows are super popular with kids of all ages.

Use window crayons to make a rainbow on the glass for a fun art activity.

drawing a window rainbow

Make a popsicle stick rainbow – a great craft for preschoolers.

Create a 3D rainbow craft

Work on fine motor skills with this DIY rainbow busy bag – an easy fine motor activity for toddlers

Eat some healthy rainbow sandwiches

Make these rainbow stackers from clay, and then play with them.

Get busy with these rainbow sensory play ideas

Make your own rainbow pot of gold sensory shaker

Make and wear these rainbow vision glasses

Learn about color mixing with our free printables

More Outdoor Fun when the Weather is Sunny

Explore sunography by making sun prints

Use these fun and frugal ideas for a kid friendly backyard

Try these outdoor chalk activities

Printable Instructions

How to make an Outdoor Rainbow Suncatcher
Yield: 1

How to make an Outdoor Rainbow Suncatcher

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

How to make a rainbow suncatcher to use outside, to explore shadows, light and color


  • Cardboard
  • Colored cellophane.


  • Knife
  • Glue


  1. Cut the rainbow shape from a piece of cardboard using a sharp craft knife
  2. Glue each color of cellophane onto the back of the. cardboard so that each color fiills one space
  3. Allow the glue to dry
  4. You're ready to play!


Full instructions on the blog post at intheplayroom.co.uk

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


Please go ahead and share this blog post with friends and family, so more kids can join in with the fun!

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How to make a rainbow suncatcher for shadow art. Fun outdoor activity for a sunny day, learning about shadows and light and colors

With all of the learning opportunities this rainbow craft brings, the best part about this project is how much fun you’ll have playing and creating it.

So grab your craft supplies and take the kids outside – it’s time to have some rainbow fun! 

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

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