Absorption Experiment

Written by Mommy Cameron | Homeschooling

Right now we are in the middle of our month”off” before we start the new school year.  Although we are “off,” I still want to do some fun activities with the boys.  One night I was surfing the internet and found this simple experiment to do with the boys.

Absorption Experiment

Absorption Experiment 2

2 clear cups
paper towel
food coloring


1.  Put some water and food coloring in one cup.
2.  Take the paper towel and fold it lengthwise.

absorptionnaturewalk 001 3. Place one end of the paper towel in the cup with the food coloring and water and the other end of the paper towel in the empty cup.
4.  Watch and Observe!

Absorption Experiment

The boys thought it was pretty cool to watch the blue water travel up the paper towel and slowly start filling the other cup. They couldn’t believe it at first.  However, it did help me explain why we sometimes use paper towels to clean up messes, like milk.

absorptionnaturewalk 008

My husband thought it was interesting how the cups became filled with the same height of water in the end.  Even after it sat there for a couple of days, once the cups had the same amount of water they stayed that way.

absorptionnaturewalk 018

As always there are many ways that you can expand on this simple experiment.  My kiddos were just happy watching the “magic” unfold.  However, you could always, make a chart and measure the water levels in each cup at a predetermined interval and then graph it.  There is also researching the reason why it happens.  You could also experiment to see if it works with other types of liquids.  This would then allow you to compare how fast the different types of liquids absorb.  Just a few ideas!