Teaching My Baby To Read

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Osmosis Experiment

Here’s yet another fabulous project swiped from Chasing Cheerios. If you have never seen Melissa’s blog, then you should really check it out. The only issue I have is that sometimes the pages load a bit slowly for me, but that could just be my own personal problem.

On Chasing Cheerios, they did this experiment a bit differently and created an entire color wheel. In our version, the primary emphasis was on the scientific concept of osmosis, rather than primary and secondary colors.

The materials needed are really simple: glasses, water, food coloring and paper towels.

We set this project up before school, in about ten minutes.  Then it needed to sit for a long time.

Once the paper towels were in place, we looked up the word “osmosis” in the dictionary. I’m not sure that Jenna(3) understands what “semipermeable membrane” means, but the kids definitely understand that the water wants to go into the towel until everything is even. That’s not exactly very scientific, but it is laying the foundation for future understanding.

Maybe when Bruce(7) gets home from school and I unload the dishwasher, we will set this project up again with six glasses, so we can go for color wheel glory!


  1. Jen says:

    Very cool! Were you able to get reasonable results within a school day, or did it take a lot longer?

  2. Kelli says:

    This happens due to capillary action, not osmosis.

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