Rainbow Travelling Water

Rainbow Travelling Water


Can you make water travel into a rainbow? Let’s have a try!

During this science experiment, children will be introduced to colour mixing and will discover what happens when they mix primary colours together. It is also an opportunity for your child to hypothesise, observe and investigate how things happen.

  1. Firstly, set the cups in a circle and fill the 1st, 3rd and 5th cup up with water.
  2. Add a different colour of food colouring to the water in each jar.
  3. Fold paper towels into thirds and dip an end of each paper towel into a cup of water, as seen in the picture.
  4. After a few minutes, you will start to see the colours travel up the paper towel to meet the colour in the cup next to them.
  5. After about 2-3 hours you’re travelling rainbow will be complete!

Promote learning by:

Ask your child questions such as: What do you think will happen? Why is the water moving so slowly? What colour do you think will be created in the middle cup? Discuss the different possibilities of what might happen and get them to share their theories on how and why this happens.

How does it work?

The water moves up the paper towel through a process called capillary action. Paper towel is made from fibres and the water can travel through the gaps in the fibres. The paper towel then pulls the water upwards, which mixes the two colours together in the middle cups.

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