I was browsing through the latest Parents magazine, not really reading anything in particular but skimming to make sure I wasn't missing some important Parenting Breakthrough, when I came across a section called "Science Fun." You know I stopped to read it.
The first experiment was called "Mystery Markers," but it's really a lesson in chromatography, which is the process of separating out colors in a dye.
Here's how you play:
First, assemble your materials: Paper towel strips, markers (stick to non-primary colors like purple, fuchsia, turquoise, and black), a bowl of water, and a placemat to lay the strips on to dry.
Next, draw a squiggly line on the paper towel, close to the bottom of the strip.
Have your kiddo hold the strip above the bowl of water so that the bottom of the strip is in the water, but not the marker line.
The water will begin to seep up the paper towel and the color will spread with it, revealing different hues within the dye of the marker.
From left, our markers were: primrose, purple, teal, black, and brown.
And some closer looks of our favorites:
I know it's a *few* years off, but wouldn't it be a cool Science Fair project to test the primary colors of different brands of markers to see which brands had the purest dyes? I'm totally suggesting it to Evan or Max if either one needs some ideas.
(Or maybe I'll just test it out myself some night after bedtime. NERD ALERT.)