Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Science: Floating Letter 'S' Experiment

There is still much talk in our classroom about primary colors and color mixing.  This is a topic that the children have been learning about since the beginning of the school year.  In addition to the various art activities having to do with color-mixing, I thought my students might really enjoy the following science experiment (retrieved from HERE):

Science experiment set up at a table.
On the leaf tray:  small, white pitcher; jar with crayons and pencil; decorative box with Skittles (yes, the candy); a stack of recording/observation sheets (see below).
...Skittles inside the box.
Floating 'S' recording sheet, available HERE.

First, the child fills the small pitcher with water and pours it into the bowl.  Then, three skittles are placed into the water.  Next, the child waits and observes what happens...

Very soon after the Skittles are placed in the water, their colors begin to spread out, swirl, and blend together.  Wow, what a show of colors!  By the end, the small letter 'S' on each Skittle appears to be floating as the color has diluted into the water.  As one can imagine, this is quite exciting for the children. 

Lastly, the child records his/her observations on the recording sheet. 
Do I even need to mention how much the children LOVE this lesson?  Surprisingly, they have not even tried eating the Skittles!   When I demonstrated the activity at circle time, I showed how to clean up the lesson as well (the Skittles go in the trash can and the bowl is cleaned at the sink).

One of my favorite parts of the activity is the opportunity it creates for each child to be still and watch with awe and wonder as the colors begin to spread and blend together.  It also has the children using new vocabulary as they discuss among themselves:  "I have a hypothesis that the colors will mix," and "Let me record my observations!"  


  1. "Cool"-- we're doing color mixing next month. Definitely incorporating this one. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. this lesson sounds very exciting! how would you incorporate into the lesson? as in, what would be the aim of your lesson in relation to science?