Walking Rainbow Water Science Experiment for Children

Simple & Fun Walking Rainbow Water Experiment for Kids

Colours fascinate kids and using colours as one of the main supplies for a science experiment is something kids will surely enjoy! In this post, we will be discussing a fun yet simple walking rainbow experiment and also share the details of how you can include your kids in doing this exciting experiment to learn some fun scientific facts!

Basic Water Walking or Travelling Water Experiment

Kids find scientific experiments utterly magical, and this basic water walking science experiment can be used to acquaint your child with some basic scientific facts. Some parents may still wonder whether young kids do understand such experiments. Well, it is a possibility that your kiddo may not be able to comprehend or understand the experiment, but it is always good to expose young minds to the wonders that the world of science holds for them!

Now, let us learn about the basic water walking science experiment in a few simple steps!

Supplies You Need

Here are some of the supplies you will require for the travelling water experiment:

  • Two same-sized plastic glasses (if you wish, you can use glass jars too)
  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • Few drops of any food colour


Once you collect all the supplies, follow these simple instructions to conduct the experiment:

  • Take the glasses and place them a few inches apart from each other (preferably, two to three inches apart).
  • Fill one glass with water until it is half-filled.
  • Take a few drops of the food colour and put it in water. Stir the water to mix the colour.
  • Take a paper towel and fold it vertically a few times.
  • Immerse one side of the tissue in the coloured water and place the other end of the tissue into the empty glass.
  • Let the tissue and glasses remain this way for an hour or more.
  • After you return, you will notice some of the coloured water in the empty glass and the tissue would also be of the same colour as the water. In other words, the water would have travelled from one glass to another.

Rainbow Walking Water or Dancing Water Experiment

The rainbow walking water experiment offers an exhilarating experience to the young minds as you expose your kiddo to a lot of learning with just a simple experiment. Kids will be thrilled to observe how the colours slowly transform with time. Read on to know what you need and how you can perform this dancing water or rainbow walking water experiment:

Supplies You Need

Here’s what you will require to perform this colourful experiment:

  • 7 Plastic glasses or glass jars
  • 6 absorbant Paper towels (cut them if they are too big)
  • Red, yellow and blue food colours (primary colours)
  • Water
  • A dropper


Follow these step-by-step instructions to conduct this exciting experiment:

  • Place all the seven plastic cups in a row. You can place the glasses in a circle also. If you do that, then you need not put the red colour in the seventh cup as the water travelling action will eventually make the violet colour on its own.
  • Fill the first, third, fifth, and seventh glasses with water. Make sure you fill the cup only up to ¾th of its capacity.
  • Take the red food colour, and using a dropper, add 5-6 drops in the first and the seventh cup.
  • Take 5-6 drops of the yellow food colour in the third cup.
  • Take 5-6 drops of the blue food colour in the fifth cup.
  • Mix the colours well by using a stirrer or a small spoon.
  • Take the paper towels and fold them length-wise, enough to reach from one cup to another. If you feel the length is a bit extra, you can cut the towels as per the required size. Prepare six towels in the same manner.
  • Place the paper towels in the cups, starting from the first cup. Place the towels in a way that one end is in one cup and the other end is in the next cup.
  • Repeat the process for all the cups.
  • Keep observing the cups; you will see the colour of the water changing as the water starts travelling with the help of the tissue.
  • You can keep on checking the cups after some time, and soon you will see that all the empty cups have coloured water from the corresponding cups.

This experiment uses primary colours, and the experiment results in the formation of secondary colours.

Here are some of the primary colours used in this experiment: Red, Yellow, and Blue.

Here are the secondary colours that would form: Violet, Orange, and Green.

Understanding the Science Behind Walking Water Experiment

The section explains the walking water experiment hypothesis:

  • The surface tension and capillary actions come into play for transferring water from one glass to another. The surface tension that is created by water helps the water to travel without falling.
  • The fibres in paper towels aid the water to travel through the gaps in them. These gaps behave like capillary tubes for moving water with the help of capillary action. The force applied through the capillary action on the molecules present in water is gentle enough to let the pressure ease away as it travels from one glass to another.
  • After the water reaches the same level in all the glasses, it stops moving further because the tissues become wet enough and thus the further movement stabilises or comes to a halt.
  • This is why the colours also stop transitioning from primary to secondary, rather than continuously getting transferred from one jar to another and eventually turning in to one shade.

Questions to Ask Children About Walking Water Experiments

The purpose of these experiments is to teach basic scientific concepts to kids. For helping kids gain more insights into the topic, you can ask some questions to them! Though they may not be able to answer them, it will surely ignite their inquisitiveness. Also, asking some questions will not only keep them engrossed in the experiments, but it is also a great way to trigger children’s innate hunger to know about new things around them. Here are some questions you can ask your child:

  • What do you think is happening now?
  • What, in your opinion, will happen to the water?
  • What could be a possible reason for the colour change?
  • Why do you think water can travel from one cup to another?

These kinds of home experiments are helpful in developing a passion for science in your kids. Try these fun and exciting experiments with your kid and make learning about scientific facts more interesting!

Also Read:

Science Project Ideas for Children
Magnet Experiments and Activities for Children

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.