An activity as simple as taking a walk in the field or the park can stimulate all five senses of children. What they usually pay attention to is the flowers, since in these environments they abound. They are different sizes, colors, or smells, and they catch your eye, but what if we told you that we can dye colorful flowers at home?
I propose a fabulous experiment with water and food coloring for children. It is a very simple activity for children from 3 years old, with which in addition to the merely aesthetic and visual, they can learn the parts that a flower has: stem, leaves and petals. If you develop the activity with older boys and girls, we can expand this vocabulary. We are prepared? Well, let's color the flowers.
- White flowers (carnations or roses)
- Food coloring
By following these simple 4 steps we can carry out our activity. Let's see them.
1. Fill the jars or glasses with water. There does not need to be a large quantity; two or three fingers is enough.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring are necessary. The more you use, the more color the water will take.
3. Using a knife, cut the flowers along the stem diagonally. With the same knife or scraper, try to rgrab the stem a little so that the water penetrates the flower better. As you can imagine, this is a step that an adult must carry out, to avoid mishaps.
4. Put the flowers into each jar or glass with water and let them rest for two or three days in a dry place with a little sunlight. In this way, we will be facilitating photosynthesis and water absorption.
Repeat these four steps using different dyes of different colors to get a rainbow flower bouquet.
It is interesting to look at our experiment every day because, as the hours go by, it will change little by little. There have to be more patience!
If everything goes as expected, we can observe the following:
- At 12 o'clock the flower placed in more intense colors such as blue or green, begins to show this color at the edges of the flower, in this case, the carnation.
- At 24 hours all the colors have appeared.
- At 48 hours the colors of each carnation are more intense. How nice!
The process can take several days to complete (2 or 3 days, even), but it is important to bear in mind that it may be the case that the petals are not completely stained. This will depend on several factors related to the atmospheric conditions and the characteristics of the food coloring that you have used.
And you may be wondering ... How and why does this happen? Why do flowers change color? The explanation is simple: The flowers absorb the water mixed with the coloring Thanks to the capillarity and perspiration, in this way both the stem (due to the diagonal cut that we have made) as well as the petals we can see how they take color.
Thanks to the water we prevent the flower from wilting the moment the stem has been cut.
In addition to providing a fun time at home or in the classroom, doing this experiment is very beneficial for children. And these are some of the learnings or practices that children can obtain by carrying it out.
- For the first ages, this experiment is very visual. Helps them differentiate and learn colors (We can even take the opportunity to teach them the names of the colors in English) and even start with the mixtures.
- It is a clear example of how objects can be altered and their initial state can be changed. Through observation, boys and girls will notice the changes that occur in it.
- It is a very simple activity to carry out in which children can participate as long as the adults make the relevant cuts in the flower.
In addition, it is an activity with which we can surprise children, taking advantage of the moment to explain to them what are the parts of a flower and how is the process so that they do not wither, that is, the care they must have so that they do not die.
Don't hesitate to try this amazing experiment with children!