We finally dyed white flowers with food coloring!
Or liquid watercolors, rather.
This is one of two activities that remained undone from a list of 31 artful activities that I made two years ago. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time before now.
Yeah, that must be it.
This is one of our favorite simple science experiments for kids!
- Daisies or other white flowers
- Food coloring or liquid watercolors
- Droppers (optoinal)
- Small jars or cups
First, we picked our daisies from the backyard and put each in a glass jar with an inch or so of water.
Then Maia added liquid watercolors to dye the flowers, one color per jar. Yellow. Magenta. Purple, Turquise. And then some red food coloring for the last flower since we were out of red liquid watercolors but wanted to try the color.
The flowers started changing color within the hour!
I wasn’t expecting such quick results. I thought it would be one of those subtle science experiments where the color changes very slightly over several days. But no, it changed fairly quickly.
It was really pretty fascinating.
And I had to dredge up some basic biology to explain why the color in the water appears in the petals. About how the flowers suck water up through the stem and the water evaporates out of the petals, but the food coloring can’t evaporate. I may even have used the word “transpiration” and I can just hope I said it in the right context.
By the end of the afternoon, all the flowers had taken on their paint colors to varying degrees, with blue being the star of the show.
Have you tried this?
Update: We’ve since done this experiment with two to three colors PER flower by splitting the stem. Super cool! To see how we did it, check out our post about the patriotic flowers we made for 4th of July Decorations.
I’m loving all these artful and simple science experiments for kids!
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