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.
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.
Color Changing Water Video
- 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.
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 – What do you see when you look through the bowl? Is the water in the bowl yellow? What about the water in the glass? Why is some of the water green?
How Does the Experiment Work?
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.
Other Ideas to Try
Try the experiment again, but change the primary colors you use!
Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue = Purple
More Cool Science Experiments
If you liked this experiment, check out these other experiment dealing with mixing colors:
- Color Changing Walking Water – Make water magically move from one cup to another. Bonus: It changes color at the same time!
- 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: