We have been having so much fun with science this summer–it’s the perfect time to get the kids excited with a hands on activity!
The Walking Water experiment is super easy to set up and has a big wow factor. Kids can watch the colored water walk along paper towels and fill an empty glass. It’s very cool!
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Walking Water Experiment
- at least 3 empty glasses (these are the ones we used)
- food coloring
- paper towels
Choose the colors you want to mix. We did red and yellow, blue and yellow, and red and blue. Fill a jar for each color and add food coloring. You will need an additional empty glass of the same size for each pair of colors.
Cut a paper towel in half and then fold it into quarters lengthwise. Stick one end of the paper towel into the colored water and one end into the empty jar.
Thanks to capillary action the water moves or “walks” up the paper towels into the empty jar. The middle jar fills up with water until the water levels of all the jars are equal.
When you start with primary colored water in the jars it also turns into a cool coloring mixing lesson.
Walking Water Troubleshooting
Happens very slowly. We have always been able to see results within minutes. If you aren’t it may be the type of paper towels you are using. We do this one fairly often and have great success with the Target brand version where you can select the smaller sizes instead of a larger sheet. If you are disappointed with it taking a long time to see any action I’d try a different type of paper towel.
Won’t get started. You start to see something happening right away when you have filled your outer glasses all the way to the top. It totally works with shorter, wider clear glasses but we have the most success with the canning jars shown in the photos. If you have them it may be worthwhile to get them out!
This is one experiment you want to try until you get right because it is just that cool when it works. Trust me. You’ll be just as impressed with this walking water science experiment as the kids!
Join me and Erica from What Do We Do All Day? each Thursday this summer for a free Summer Science Camp. We are sharing classic science experiments that your kids will love!
Head over to see what they made this week!
For even more science fun this summer check out my Science is Everywhere Pinterest board!