skip to main content columnskip to left navigation

Child Study Center

Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning & Development


Mrs. Jackie told them that the daisies didn’t grow in those colors, that they are colored. The children asked how the flowers got those colors on the petals. Mrs. Jackie used the word “absorption.” None of the children could explain what absorption was. In order to demonstrate absorption, the class was given an experiment.

paper towels in colored water

Colored water was placed in cups that were connected into an empty cup using white paper towels. The children discussed their initial hypothesis on the first day. They observed the changes to the cups and paper towels on the second day. The experiment will be left in the classroom for several more days in order to observe the changes and how the water is absorbed.

classroom discussion 

April 6, 2016

What do you see or think?
Mae: It’s going to the other cup. It’s slow. It’s going to make green.
Jack: It’s soaking up.
Zia: It (paper towels) looks like an “M.”
Maverick: Those parts are wet and those parts are dry.
Akari: It looks like a banana peel (the three paper towels).

What color do you think all three colors will make?
Brown: Jack, Ben G.
Purple: Mae, Zia

towels soaking up colored water

April 7, 2016

What happened?
Mae: There is water in the middle cup.
Maverick: the water went into the paper towel and went into the cup and made orange.
What made orange?
Girls: Red and orange.
Ben G.: When the blue gets in the water, it will stay orange.
Mae: I think it will be brown. (How interesting that Ben and Mae have both changed their thinking on what the color will be.)
Maverick: I think when the blue and yellow mix, it will be green.

children discuss their findings

icon for left menu icon for right menu