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
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%)
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 Science Experiment
- Salt Crystal Hearts
- Egg Density Experiment
- How to make Frost in a can Science Experiment
- Free Animal Habitats sticker Worksheets
- Flower Science Experiment
- Month-by-Month Science Experiments for Kids
- Colorful Oil & Water Science Experiment
- Candy Science with pretty skittles, lollipops, m & m’s and more!
- Red white and blue science experiments
- Why Does it Float? (Density for Kids)
- EASY Air Pressure Experiments with an Egg for Kindergartens
- Fizzing Christmas Ornament Christmas science experiments
- Free animal habitats kindergarten worksheets with stickers!
- Christmas Magic Milk Science Experiment
- Gumdrops Ornaments Made with Christmas Science Experiment
- EASY! Dancing Hearts Science Experiment
- Are permanent markers permanent? Paper Chromatography experiment
- Simple Bending Water Experiment
- You MUST try this pretty, impressive Glitter Volcano science project
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:
- Marshmallow Shooters – go over 30 feet!
- Lemon Volcano is a fun Summer Experiment for kids of all ages
- 2 ingredient Easy Slime Recipe
- How to Make a Simple Newton’s Cradle Science Experiment
- Ice Cream Volcano Experiment – Summer Experiment for Kids
- EPIC Mentos and Soda Experiment
- How to Make a Lava Lamp – it’s super EASY!
- DIY Water Xylophone Activity – Sound Science Experiment for Kids
- Kids will no nuts over this simple Pop Rock Experiment
- Easy Button Crafts for Kids
- Handprint Strawberry Craft for Summer
- Grow Your Own Crystals
- Water Balloon Experiment – exploring densit with an EPIC summer activity for kids
- Amazing Bubble Painting
- Mind Blowing Color Changing Playdough
- Disolving Seashell Activities – a Summer Science Experiment