We have been spending quite a bit of time doing activities that allow us to work on the scientific method. Not only has it been super fun, it has also strengthened my kids’ skills on asking questions and learning to figure out the answer. This science experiment had my kids surprised, which makes it even more fun! It all started with the question: Are Permanent Markers Actually Permanent?
Permanent Marker Science Experiment
One of my favorite things about doing activities with my kids is when all of the supplies come from our cupboards! I didn’t have to actually buy anything extra for this activity. Even if you have to, they are all inexpensive! So if you are looking for a fun, hands on science project for kindergartners, preschoolers, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 students with common household items – you will love this Permanent Marker Science Experiment that explores color chromatography.
Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – this easy science experiment is sure to be a hit!
Chromatography for Kids
Have you heard about chromatography before? Basically it is the separation of the dye from the ink. To do this fun science experiment you will need the following materials:
- Sharpie Markers (We used colored ones, it made it fun)
- 3 Coffee Filters
- 3 Clear Jars/Cups
- White Vinegar
- Rubbing Alcohol (We used 50%)
Paper Chromatography Experiment
So first, I had my daughter color designs on each of the coffee filters. It doesn’t matter how detailed you do it, just make sure there is a significant amount of color. I was slightly concerned with the colors mixing, but as you will be able to see – that didn’t happen. Fill the jars. We filled them between ⅓ and ½ full. One jar has rubbing alcohol, one has white vinegar and one has water.
When you are ready, put one colored coffee filter into each jar. It takes a few minutes but the liquid in one of the jars turns from clear to a color. Ours was yellow. To incorporate the scientific method, we added the steps throughout the activity.
Before we started anything, I posed the question to my kids:
- Are Permanent Markers Actually Permanent? I asked them to write down their hypothesis. They all said YES, they are!
- I asked them to write down the supplies and steps that we were going to take (as I listed above).
- We also wrote down what we observed. How the one liquid (rubbing alcohol) slowly started to change, yet the other two didn’t.
- I asked them to try and guess why that happens.
When we saw that the colors were pulled in one liquid and not the other, I asked them to write a conclusion. Rubbing alcohol will pull the color from the coffee filter, while white vinegar and water do not.
My mom life conclusion is: When we accidently get permanent markers on fabric, we can use rubbing alcohol to help get it out! Don’t quote me on this, but I’m thinking that it would help!
Easy Science Projects for Kids
Looking for more fun, easy science experiments for kids of all ages? Try these ideas:
- Water Balloon Density Experiment
- Red White and Blue Science Project
- Salt Crystal Hearts
- Egg Density Experiment
- Exploding Watermelon Science
- Fizzing Christmas Science Experiment
- Walking Water Science Experiment
- Frost in a Can Experiment
- Air Pressure Science Experiment
- Free Animal Habitats sticker Worksheets
- Flower Science Experiment
- Month-by-Month Science Experiments for Kids
- Colorful Oil & Water Easy Science Experiment
- Density Water Balloon Science Experiment