STEM Colourful Creations Blog
Friday 1st March 2019
Hey there STEM fans! This months STEM box is all about Colour exploration, we've put together some awesome activities for you and your children to test out but just in case you get through them really quickly and are twiddling your thumbs until the next STEM box arrives, here are some simple (and colourful) activities you can achieve at home!
This activity is great even for younger ages as it is visual and helps children explore how colours mix together.
What you will need is yellow, red and blue food colouring, 6 glasses or clear containers and some kitchen roll. Take 3 of the cups and fill with warm water until they are about 3/4 full. Add 2 drops of red to one, 2 drops of yellow to another and 2 drops of blue to the last one. Arrange them in a circle with the empty cups in between each colour.
Take a piece of kitchen roll and fold it into a long strip, place this in the red water and then loop it into the empty jar. Repeat with more kitchen roll until all the jars are connected with a strip of kitchen roll. What do you think will happen? Encourage your children to predict and guess as they watch! After a few hours the colours will have mixed into the empty glasses to create different coloured water!
Rainbow In A Glass
This activity is slightly more challenging and requires some patience so may be best suited to older children.
Take 3 clear glasses or cups and place 1 tbsp of sugar in one, 2 tbsp in the next and 3 tbsp in the last one. Next add 50ml of warm water and give them a good stir to dissolve the sugar. Now add a different colour food colouring to each one. Take an empty glass and use a pipette to squeeze in some of the water from the glass that had the most sugar in it (you’ll have to remember which colour you put in each!)
Next add water from the cup with 2 tbsp of water and lastly add the water from the cup with the least amount of sugar in. Hopefully what you will notice is that each colour sits on top of the other! This is due to the density of the water. The water with the most amount of sugar is the most dense and therefore sits at the bottom, however the decrease in sugar decreases the density and means that the water will stay at the top!
This is a tricky one to get right, and may take a few trials to succeed, as you can see from ours, the blue started to merge into the red before we could get a decent picture!
Taste the Rainbow
If you're just looking for something super simple then grab a bag of skittles and place them in a circle around the edge of a plate. For older children or children that need things to be in order have them create a pattern with the colours. Pour some warm water into the middle of the plate so that it spreads outwards towards the skittles. Wait for around 30 seconds then hear your children marvel in delight as the sugar colour coating of the skittles begins to dissolve and spread into the middle!
You could also try this with M&M's and compare the differences in colour. Top tip: inevitably your children are going to nag for the moment they can eat the sweets which, in this experiment isn't going to be enjoyable as they are mixed with water so make sure buy some extra for nibbles- trust me, you know you'll want to be eating them too!
One More Thing...!
Lastly we wanted to show you these cool puddles we found just outside Weekend Box Towers! One of the activities in the Colourful Creations STEM Box is making rainbow paper which demonstrates a phenomenon called thin film interference, which is where a thin film (funnily enough) interferes with light that is being reflected onto an object and bounces off in different directions. The most common example of this is puddles in the road which are coated by a thin layer of oil and here they are… Next time you are out and about with your child see if you can spot any!
Enjoy experimenting and don’t forget to share the fun with us by sending in your photos on our social media pages!
Fran & the Weekend Box Team