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EASY Sharpie Permanent Marker Science Experiment for Kids

We have been spending quite a bit of time doing science experiments 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 permanent marker experiment had my kids surprised, which makes it even more fun! THis sharpie experiment is perfect for all ages from kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th garde, and 6th grade elementary age students.  As my kids wrestled with their question: How permanent are permanent markers, we devised this chromatography for kids project to find some answers.

We have been spending quite a bit of time doing science experiments 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 permanent marker experiment had my kids surprised, which makes it even more fun! THis sharpie experiment is perfect for all ages from kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th garde, and 6th grade elementary age students.  As my kids wrestled with their question: How permanent are permanent markers, we devised this chromatography for kids project to find some answers.

Permanent Marker 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

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
  • Water
  • Rubbing Alcohol (We used 50%)

Paper Chromatography Experiment

Sharpie 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.

Chromatography Experiment

Chromatography Experiment

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!

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Easy Science Projects for Kids

Looking for more fun, easy science experiments for kids of all ages? Try these ideas:

lemon volcano experiment for kids mentos and soda experiment Kids will be excited to learn and explore when making this ice cream volcano! This is a combination of an ice cream activity and easy volcano experiments for one EPIC, memorable summer activity for kids! Try this summer experiment as part of your ice cream theme with toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders. This project causes a super cool, baking soda and vinegar reaction that will create a fun WOW moment for kids! This plane will FLY! I was stunned that this pool noodle airplane craft flew as high and as far for as long as it did. If I was stunned, my kids were in complete awe! Try this plane craft with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders too. This pool noodle craft is perfect for lazy summer days as a summer craft for kids or as part of a transportation or plane theme!

Summer Fun

Looking for more outdoor activities for kids and things to do in the summer? Your toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, and elementary age kids will love these fun ideas to keep them busy all summer long:

We have been spending quite a bit of time doing science experiments 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 permanent marker experiment had my kids surprised, which makes it even more fun! THis sharpie experiment is perfect for all ages from kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th garde, and 6th grade elementary age students.  As my kids wrestled with their question: How permanent are permanent markers, we devised this chromatography for kids project to find some answers.

About the author

Deanna

Deanna Hershberger is a work at home mom, coffee obsessed, a diy addict and a Netflix binger. She spends her days playing and making with her daughter and enjoys quiet nights at home with her husband. She shares all of this on her blog Play Dough & Popsicles.

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