This fun and simple STEAM project was done by a group of preschoolers at our Valley Child Care & Learning Center program in Chandler! Our preschoolers enjoyed exploring colors with this experiment and were able to see the colors spread through the coffee filters right before their eyes! During this experience we had the opportunity to discuss the effect the water would have on the coffee filters as well as explore colors that appeared during mixing.
This science experiment requires very simple materials, most likely things you already have in your home!
Glass jars (one for each color coffee filter)
Coffee filters (any size will work, larger ones give children more space to color)
Newspaper or something to protect the surface you are experimenting on
Have your child lay the coffee filter out onto the protected surface. For best results, color the area in the middle of the filter, before the folds start. While sticking with one color per filter will produce the best results, this is a child led project and as with all STEAM learning – let them take the lead!
Once your filters are colored fold them in hald and then in half again. If you’d like to take the experiment a step further, choose a few filters to fold in half once again for varying results.
Place the folded coffee filters “tip down” into the glass of water. The filters should not be submerged and only the tip should enter the water.
Step back and watch! You’ll see the water begin to slowly climb up the coffee filter and the colors begin to fade out beautifully!
When the filter is visibly wet to the top carefully remove it from the glass, unfold it and place it on a paper towel to dry.
When the coffee filters dry you will be left with a beautiful piece of art that can be used in other activities such as these captivating butterflies or simply left on their own. The great thing about exploring colors with this project is that it can be done by toddlers with parent involvement or completed entirely by preschools (with parent supervision) eager for the opportunity to show their independence.
Questions to ask during this STEAM activity to spark new thoughts and connections –
What made you chose those colors?
Would you like to guess what’s going to happen during this experiment?
Are there any shapes forming that you recognize?
If these colors mix, what new color will be created?
About Valley Child Care & Learning Center…
Established in 1967, Valley Child Care and Learning Center has continuously led the childcare, daycare, and preschool industry in Phoenix, Arizona. Our founder and Grandfather, Paul Emch, began with a simple mission to “provide tender loving care and education to each child.” Paul’s legacy lives on as we continue to uphold his original values and have grown to a well-established name in the Phoenix community. Today, we provide care for nearly 1,900 infants, toddlers, and preschool age children at a total of nine programs. Our convenient locations include North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale, Anthem, Surprise, El Mirage, Chandler, South Phoenix, and Tempe! At each of our program locations, you will find qualified staff eager to join us in ensuring children are receiving the highest quality care alongside a complete preschool experience. Upon graduation from our program, your child will be equipped to succeed in Kindergarten, and beyond!