Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rainbow Water Experiment

I'm getting my kitchen window ready for St.Paddy's day and came across these decor pics from a couple of years ago...



Which led me to the post about this super easy little rainbow experiment...
(put a little bit of milk on a plate, add several drops of food coloring followed by a few drops of Dawn dish soap.  Swish the plate around a bit and watch the colors move!)


Which got me thinking about another fun rainbow idea I saw a while ago. 

We set up seven water glasses, 4 with food coloring and 3 without
(red, none, yellow, none, blue, none, red)


We put paper folded up paper towels into the glasses (and actually added more in between the others after I took this pic) and then watched the colored water start "walking" up the towels.




It took WAAAAAAY longer than I anticipated (and I had to help it along a little bit while the kids were taking baths), but we ended up with awesome mixed colors.  

Note: After doing a little bit of reading... I think that this would have worked better with cheaper paper towels. hahaha  I use Bounty and they didn't pass the water between the glasses as well as others because they actually hold onto the liquid.  

  


We also set up a ring (red, none, blue, none, yellow, none and then that connected back to red) and used skinnier strips of paper towels and it seemed to work better.





 This was super easy, completely free (I had the food coloring on hand) and brought up several great topics of discussion...
- Primary and secondary colors
- Shades of color
- Absorption 
- Patience ;)
- Hypothesis


And Mason's favorite part?  Dumping all of the cups of colored water into the pitcher to make black water :)  


This would be easy to scale down if you're not wanting to do a full rainbow.  You could even set up three cups with two primary colors on the outside and plain water in the middle and watch them mix.

Have fun!!!

30 comments:

  1. Andrea! This was so much fun! My kids would love this!!

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    1. You could totally handle doing this :) But buy some cheap paper towels first!

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  2. Ha! Love that everyone got a lesson on patience as well. :)

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    1. It was probably the most valuable lesson :) hahaha

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  3. Looks like I'm going to have to get some food coloring. Carter is all about science experiments!

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  4. Cute science experiment!! Love it!!

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  5. If you're looking for a less healthy but fun exploration of color mixing you can try my children's favorite experiment. We did it for the first time 4 years ago and since then they ask for it on a regular basis. Check out White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker. Before reading the story make a simple white frosting. Separate into three smaller bowls and dye one red, one yellow, and one blue. I then give my kiddos each their own plates with blobs of each color frosting and a handful of Annie's bunny shaped graham crackers. As we read the story we use a bunny cracker to mix up some of the frosting to create the secondary colors. What's not to love?!

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    1. LOVE that idea for Easter! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  6. Great fun! To this day my grown son will pour all the Easter egg dye into one cup at the end to make his "poopy" egg. Now my grandsons want to make one too after they are done making the pretty ones. So I totally get Mason!

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  7. Love your fun experiments, the paper towel one is so neat, my kids are teens and we longer do these things :( but my nephew would like this!

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    1. Stash the ideas away for grandkids, right? :)

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  8. This is one of my favorite experiments. I do this with my pre-k kiddos when we study colors and rainbows.

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    1. Do you use cheap paper towels? I was shocked at how long it took, but I think it was because I used good paper towels.

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  9. I've seen this and have been meaning to do it, how fun!

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  10. What a great thing to do - I'm fascinated, and I'm in my 50s! Never did this when I was I was in school. I learned about pri/sec/tri colors differently.

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  11. Well isn't this a clever little experiment! My son would love this! Thank you for sharing.

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  12. You are such a fun mama! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I have my moments :) hahaha You're so welcome!

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  13. Hi Andrea,
    I love your blog! I have ordered once from Canvas People after reading how you love them. I was so happy with my order! I just ordered again recently. I received a shipping confirmation, but that was 5 days ago and the shipping tracking they sent me comes up as invalid. They are not responding to me. I know you can't help, but since it seems like you are repeat customer I wondered if you have ever had a problem? Thanks again!

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    1. OH NO!!! I'd love to help you out, but unfortunately, I have absolutely zero connection with them other than being a repeat customer. If it's any encouragement I've ordered from them probably 10 times and never had an issue. Hope it all works out.

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  14. Have you ever tried rainbow toast with your kids? Mine used to make it all the time....put out little custard cups of milk and add a drop or two of food coloring to each cup. Have the kids "paint" a piece of white bread with a new paintbrush. Toast it in the oven and serve :)

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    1. Totally just screenshotted this to try later! THANK YOU!

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  15. We just did this with my 5 year old, he is BIG into science experiments and basically anything that has to do with food coloring. But the cups you had with clear water we left empty and then at the end (after several hours-and overnight) the empty cups were then filled with water from the cups on each side in the mixed color if that makes sense! So funny to see you just did it too, we did it last week on a snow day.

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    1. SO FUN! We may have to do a follow up to our experiment! What kind of paper towels did you use?

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