Your littles will be in awe when they see this amazing color-changing flower experiment. Flowers, water, and food coloring are all you need!
Why do a Carnation in Food Coloring Experiment
Your littles will see that the flower is starting out white. Talk with them and see what they predict will happen if the flower is put into a cup with colored water. This helps your little one to make a prediction and then after a day or so they are able to see if their prediction is correct. The printable we created will help your littles to track and illustrate their thinking.
When you bring up color-changing flowers, your littles may want to have the flowers turn into their favorite color. If their favorite color isn’t a primary color, you may need to mix two colors of food coloring to make the desired color. This helps your littles to see color mixing in real life!
Curiosity will be peaked when you say that you can make a flower change colors (without using magic). Littles are naturally curious. They will want to figure out how and why it worked. They may even want to replicate the experiment using different colors or flowers. If possible, encourage this curiosity! It is a great way for your littles to grow their brain and figure out how things work by themselves. Curiosity is what leads to new inventions. Kids need to know that it is wonderful to be curious!
This experiment is part of our Homeschooling Preschool Curriculum. Check out week 33: Flowers for more ideas of things to do with flowers. This is also where you will find the printable for the activity.
Why the Flower Changes Colors
The water starts in the cup at the bottom of the stem. The flower has something called xylem inside of the stem. It is like an elevator. The xylem pulls the water up the stem like how you drink through a straw. Water moves through the stem and into the petals. You can see the colored water move through the flower by looking at where on the petals are colored. The coloring in the water doesn’t change how the flower drinks water.
What You Need
- white carnations
- food coloring
- printable (in the Freebies Library)
- coloring tools (crayons, markers, etc.)
How to do a Carnation in Food Coloring Experiment
1 – Gather supplies and print off the observation printable.
2 – Have your littles make predictions of what they think will happen to the flowers. Have them record their ideas on the printable. You may need to draw an outline of a flower for them to color in.
3 – Choose how many colors you want to test in your experiment. Fill a cup half full of water for each color you want to make.
4 – Add 10 drops of food coloring into the water. Repeat with each color you are testing.
5 – Place a carnation in each cup. Be sure to cut the stem of each flower so the flower is able to ‘drink up’ the water.
6 – Wait for the flower to ‘drink up’ the colored water. Check back after 18 hours.
7 – Look at the flowers and have your little draw the colored flowers.
Carnation in Food Coloring Experiment
Hopefully, this experiment will spark a sense of curiosity in your littles. Help them to embrace their sense of curiosity!