A Simple Chromatography Experiment




I’m a sucker for simple experiments with common household items and dramatic results, and my 6 year old is currently in love with colors. The other day, he didn’t ask his cousin what her favorite color is. He asked what her favorite color group is (primary, secondary, or tertiary – spoiler alert: he likes the tertiary color group the best). And pretty much refuses to have anything to do with primary colors right now. Don’t ask me why. I really don’t know.

When I found this experiment, I knew it was going to be a winner.

Just like she suggests, we drew circles on our filters, labeled them with pencil, and then curled them and placed them in shallow cups so that only the tips were immersed in water.

We used a bunch of different (washable) marker colors on our 4 c coffee filters, and after the initial recommended circles, J also experimented with patterns to see how they would affect the outcome.

We then tried immersing the color in water and discussed why that didn’t work the same.

Have fun, and let your creativity run free!

Happy wondering.



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