This color changing flowers science experiment is so easy to do and your kids will love watching the flowers change colors! Your kids will love learning about how plants drink water with this simple experiment. Perfect for a plants theme in your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom.
Color Changing Flowers
If you’re looking for a fun science experiment that will engage your kids and keep them excited, then you should definitely try this one!
You can even invite your kids to record their observations on paper, just like real scientists do.
Color Changing Flowers Science Experiment
Here are the supplies you will need to do this experiment at home or in your classroom:
- Clear Cups
- Food Coloring
- White Carnations (or other white flower)
I found white flowers at my local grocery store and the clear plastic cups at my local dollar store.
How to Set Up the Experiment
Start by using your scissors to trim the stems of your flowers. You don’t want to leave the stems too long because it will take longer for the colored water to reach the petals. Ideally, trim the stems so just the top of the flowers are showing over the top of the cup.
Next, place one cup for each color of food coloring you will be using on a tray. Keeping the cups on a tray will allow you to do the experiment with a small group of children at a table, then easily move the flowers on the tray to your science center for observation.
Then, fill each cup about halfway with water and invite your students to add several drops of food coloring to each cup, only one color per cup.
Now you’re ready to add your flowers. Invite your kids to take turns placing the cut flowers in the cups, making sure there is at least one flower in each cup. You could also turn this into a counting activity by inviting them to count as they place the flowers in the cups!
Now your kids can go to the science center to observe the flowers on their own. It may take several hours or even days for the flowers to begin absorbing the colored water.
You will know the experiment is working when you begin to see the petals of the flowers changing colors.
Place some blank paper, clipboards, and pencils or markers next to the flowers and invite your kids to record any changes they notice, the fancy word for this is data collection!
You may notice that one or more flowers is taking longer than the others to absorb the food coloring. If this happens you can remove the flower, place it on a flat surface, and use an X-Acto knife or similar to cut slits from the bottom of the stem upwards about one to two inches. Be sure to do this part away from the children for safety.
The slits will allow the water to flow upwards towards the petals more easily.
As you can see from the pictures above, we didn’t have much luck with our yellow flowers at all. The yellow color was very faint at best, but it made for great observations, questions, and class discussion!
If your flowers don’t turn out quite the way you expected, you can turn it into a wonderful learning opportunity. Discuss what scientists do when their experiments don’t work. Brainstorm ways you could change things next time. Give it another try and see if you get different results, you may be pleasantly surprised!