This Spring Flowers - Chromatography for Kids science experiment is for kindergarten through grade 3.
Kids love mixing colors and learning how to combine colors to discover amazing new results. But what about separating colors? Pulling colors apart to see what colors came together to create a color. Now separating your child's mixed up paint colors, slime or play dough, isn't going to happen, but through a special scientific process called chromatography, you can split colors into their original hues.
Chromatography Science Project
Chromatography - the science behind color separationColors are made up of many different molecules that mix together to create the single color registered by our eyes. But through the process of paper chromatography we can separate the molecules of the different colors so our eyes register all the colors that mixed together. We start with one color, then by adding water, it spreads the colors out. Different molecules move across paper at different rates. As a result, components of the first color separate allowing us to see the colors that created it.
Note: You will need to use secondary or tertiary colors for this to work. This can be a great way to teach how we have these different categories of colors and why.
Supplies to do Chromatography Flowers
- Coffee Filters
- Washable (or water soluble) Markers in secondary and tertiary colors
- Small syringes (think of the type that come with baby medication) or pipettes
- Plates or a plastic table cloth are recommended to protect your table
- Pipe cleaners in green
Add about 0.5 mL of water to the center of your coffee filter. Watch to see what happens!
Your colors should start spreading and separating as the water travels along the filter. If you want your color to spread a little farther, add another drop or two of water.
Let the filters dry completely.
Now is a great time to explore what colors came out of the ones you started with.
Building Chromatography Flowers
Once the filter papers are completely dry, bundle them into flower like shapes and attach green pipe cleaners to the bottom to create the stems. You've just created a beautiful spring bouquet of flowers with science and a little art. Keep them for yourself or gift them as a wonderful spring present, perhaps for Mother's Day!
Flower Crafts for Kids
- Painting with Flowers
- Spin Art Flower Craft
- 100 Spring Crafts and Kids Activities
- Poppy Flower Craft
- Spring Flower Hand Art
Shelley is a former communications manager with a BSc in Psychology specialization. Since starting a family ten years ago, she has been a full-time writer in both fiction and non-fiction, and on her site: STEAM Powered Family. She is passionate about quality education and childhood mental health, and last year started homeschooling her two children who both have special needs. Follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.