Try this experiment at home with your kids and watch their eyes light up as you pour the liquid into the bowl and “create” a new color. Follow along in the video using blue and yellow food coloring or try it using other primary color combinations!
Mixing two colors together to create a different color has a certain wow factor, especially for younger children. This experiment takes the excitement up a notch because the colors aren’t mixed together, but the same color changing effect is achieved.
- Clear Drinking Glass
- Large Clear Bowl
- Blue and Yellow Food Coloring
Step 1 – Pour water into an empty glass until it is 3/4 of the way full.
Step 2 – Add 1-2 drops of blue food coloring to the water and stir until combined.
Step 3 – Fill a pitcher full of water. Add 7-10 drops of yellow food coloring to the water and stir until combined.
Take a moment to make some observations about both of the containers of colored water. Do you think it is possible for the water to change color without adding anything to it?
Step 4 – Get a large empty bowl and place the glass with the blue water in the center of the bowl.
Step 5 – Next, pour the yellow water from the pitcher into the bowl. Be careful not to get any water into the glass.
Step 6 – Look through the side of the bowl and make some observations. How many different colors do you see? Is this different than what you originally started with? What color is the water in the bowl? What about the water in the glass? Why is some of the water green? Find out the answer in the how does this experiment work section below.
What do you think will happen if you remove the glass from the bowl? Write down your hypothesis (prediction) and then test to see if you were right!
Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors of light. When you combine these three primary colors together in equal amounts, they will make white light. When the primary colors are combined together in different amounts, they produce other colors. These colors are referred to as secondary colors.
In this experiment, when you look through two colors at once, the colors “mix” together similar to how they would if you put two drops of yellow food coloring and two drops of blue food coloring in a glass of water and stirred them together. Because primary colors (yellow and blue) were used in this experiment, when we looked through the bowl they “combined” to form a secondary color (green).
Primary colors are three colors that can combine to make any other color.
Secondary colors are any colors that are produced by combining equal amounts of any two primary colors.
More Science Fun
Try the experiment again, but change the primary colors you use!
Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue = Purple
In addition, you can also try these other fun experiments that contain mixing colors:
- Color Changing Walking Water Science Experiment – Much like the regular walking water science experiment, but with an added “colorful” twist.
- Discover How Colors are Made – This is a simple experiment that demonstrates how different colors are made.
I hope you enjoyed the experiment. Here are some printable instructions: