How to Make a Neon Sugar Rainbow that Appears to Glow

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Rainbow Sugar Chalk Sugar RainbowYesterday we made some beautifully coloured sugar and then painted a rainbow with it.   My 2.5 year old LOVED this activity.  We did it as part of our Noah’s Ark themed homeschool preschool week but it would be a terrific “Anytime” craft too and there are so many things you could do with this colourful sugar. Also, it was very quick and easy to do and there was almost no clean up at all.

Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t quite capture how pretty it really was due to not being able to see it sparkle the way sugar does.


Here’s what you need:

All we did was scoop a small pile of white sugar onto a piece of construction paper (any tray would do, we used construction paper because it’s easy to pick up and sort of roll to pour the sugar into our egg carton tray after.) and then colour it with chalk.

Coloring Sugar

You’ll have to press hard, but not so hard that a child can’t do it.  My toddler was able to get a good colour going in the sugar but I helped her finish each time.  It only took a minute or two per colour. Coloring Sugar

We didn’t have purple so we mixed the pink and blue when colouring and it became a lesson in colour mixing as well. As a bonus, Miss Genesis also enjoyed drawing in it with her finger so it became another activity too.

Drawing in Sugar
When we were done we poured each colour into an egg carton, but you can use whatever you like.

The Rainbow

Sugar RainbowWhen we were done making our neon rainbow sugar, we used it to make a rainbow and to our delight, it appeared to light up/glow when dry if light shone through the back.

For this activity we used:

(Affiliate links to the brands we used.)

This activity was as easy as the first one.  I drew a picture of a rainbow with glue (an older child could easily do it themselves) and Miss Genesis used a small spoon to sprinkle the sugar on top.

Sugar Rainbow I found it easiest to draw the glue lines for one colour of sugar at a time.  After each colour we would pick up the paper and dump the extra sugar back into our egg carton. We ended up using un-coloured white sugar for clouds too.

Sugar RainbowAgain this activity generated very little mess and was super easy to do!

Sugar RainbowWhen we brought it inside after it dried we noticed something.  It appeared to glow/light up!  We weren’t even intentionally holding it up to light at the time the effect was so strong, but when we saw that we hung it on the window for the full effect and it is beautiful for sure.  I wish I could show you the full extent of the effect but my camera wouldn’t capture it, but here’s our best attempt.

Glow in the Dark Sugar RainbowAll-in-all this activity gets a very high rating from both myself and Miss Genesis and we’ll be doing it again often.

Sugar Rainbow


  1. Very fun!! We recently did a similar activity with salt!! To color the salt, I put it in ziplock baggies with some food coloring and let the kids shake it up. And then we made our pictures with glue. The salt mixed with the glue made a very neat final texture when it dried, being kind of springy feeling. We’ll have to try this version sometime!

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