In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (and because my son is obsessed with rainbows right now), I decided it would be fun to try a colorful experiment. This is called the Floating Rainbows experiment and is designed to teach several concepts: color names, sinking/floating, and mixing/separating.
You probably won’t need to purchase anything at all! Most of these items can be found in your kitchen or pantry. Here’s the list:
- Food coloring
- Glass jar
First, you fill the glass jar with water.
Then, you add the oil so there’s a nice, thick layer on top.
Next, you start adding drops of food coloring. I think I added too many drops. You probably only need 1-2 of each color. I used about 3-4. The drops form bubbles stay “separate” from the oil and just “float” around for a few minutes.
Now, you wait for the magic to begin. It took about 2-3 minutes but then the drops of food coloring bubbles begin to drop from the oil to the water. When this happens the bubbles start to “sink” and “mix” with the water, creating a beautiful cloud of colors in the water. The kids love to watch this happen!
After about 5-10 minutes all of the food coloring bubbles will have mixed with the water and you are left with a rainbow of water on the bottom and the thick layer of oil still on top.
This quick and easy science experiment is fun and fascinating for the littler scientists! You can vary the temperature of the water, too, for a slightly different outcome.
Have fun experimenting!