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Painted Daisies: Simple Science Experiment for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
July 13, 2011

Painted daisies are one of our favorite simple science experiment for kids and are always a hit! All you need are white flowers (daisies) and coloring.

I thought it would be nice to see nature do its work. Yes, nature study right in our house! Try this simple science activity where flowers show us how they absorb liquid and reflect it on its petals. Guess how long it takes to absorb the colors?

Here’s how we made this simple science experiment for kids!

Painted Daisies for KidsThis post contains affiliate links.



Daisies being prepared for the experiment

1. Pick daisies or any white flowers

We picked our daisies from the backyard and put each in a glass jar with an inch or so of water.

Little girl putting water colors in the container

2. Add liquid watercolors

Maia added liquid watercolors to dye the flowers, one color per jar. Yellow. Magenta. Purple, Turquoise. And then some red food coloring for the last flower since we were out of red liquid watercolors but wanted to try the color.

3. Wait for the flowers to absorb the colored water.

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 the 4th of July Decorations.

I’m loving all these artful and simple science experiments for kids!

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