Walking rainbow science experiment

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Check out instruction video above!

What’s more fun then science experiments? Today we are going to make a walking rainbow! This experiment can be for pre school kids or even older kids because who doesn’t love rainbows?

For this experiment you don’t really need a lot of materials.

  • 6 clear cups
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Food coloring ( I used the gel food coloring you can use the regular if you like )

To start the experiment fill 3 of the clear cups almost completely up with water (cool tap water is fine). After you have done that add the food coloring, for mine I used red, yellow, and blue. Mix the colors in well especially if you used the gel sometimes it doesn’t want to dissolve. Then take the paper towels and cut them into about 3 inch thick strips and place them on the side, take your cups and arrange them with a empty cup in between the full ones. The way I arranged mine was blue, empty cup, red, empty cup, yellow, empty cup, back to blue. After you have arranged the cups add the paper towels, there should be one leading from each full cup into an empty one. Then comes the fun part the waiting, it will take at least 2 hours for the experiment to be completed.

Time lapse of rainbow using blue and yellow to make the color green

The science behind this experiment is being able to see primary colors make secondary colors. When you mix blue and yellow you end up with green, mix red and yellow and you make orange, mix red and blue and you get purple. The other fun science fact behind the experiment is you get to watch the capillary action. This is what lifts the water and food coloring through the paper towel into the empty cup. This same process is what allows trees to get water from the ground into their roots. Paper towels are actually made up of cellulose fibers which is found in plants.

Finished Rainbow!


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