My family has a membership to the Boston Museum of Science. We went for the first time a few months ago (after moving to the area) and I was just awed by it. I love science, and love how interactive and hands-on the museum is. Their young children area has some amazing people working in it that draw in the young ones.
The other day we received our monthly newsletter in the mail and in it was a whole list of water experiments to do with your children. This one I picked to share with you was SO EASY it stood out to me.
First, you take 5 clear classes and fill three of them with food coloring: red, yellow and blue. Then fill those with food coloring with water, not to the top, but over halfway full. To give an extra bit to talk about, try to make the level on all the glasses uneven.
Now line them up with red on one end, an empty next, then yellow, then empty, then blue. This will create an impressive rainbow (which I knew my girls would appreciate, given how much they love rainbows). The newsletter suggested placing blue next to red and red next to yellow, but then you miss out on that rainbow effect.
Next, take two paper towels, cut them each in half, and fold those halves over to create "wicks", placing them in the glasses as you see in the photo below.
And that is it. You just wait and observe. Have your kids ponder what they think will happen and discuss what they actually see.
As you can see, the colored water fairly quickly starts to pass up and over the wicks and starts collecting in the bottoms of the empty glasses. For some reason, our red was slower to wick. But it only took about 15 minutes to get to where we were in the picture above.
And after only a few hours, the levels on all the glasses had evened out and the colors had mixed just beautifully.
What a great opportunity this gave us to talk a bit about gravity, water finding a level, and how colors mix.