LEARN: Walking Rainbow Experiment — Oskar's Wooden Ark Skip to content
Huge Mader restock: Thursday, 21th October - 8 PM Adelaide time
Huge Mader restock: Thursday, 21th October - 8 PM Adelaide time

Learning Activity: Walking Rainbow STEM Experiment

An #oskarslittlelearners Activity Tutorial by Kate Kwijas, for Oskar's Wooden Ark

June 30, 2021

Are you looking for an incredibly simple, but striking science experiment for your little learners? Look no further! The Walking Rainbow is quick to set up and basically fail safe!

If you try this experiment with your little learners, please take a photo and share it with us on Instagram and Facebook, tagging @oskarswoodenark and using the hashtag: #oskarslittlelearners. We'd love to see what you get up to!

What you'll need

Preparation:

Collect the following:
- Paper towels (the more absorbent the better but any will work)
- 7 small jars (We used the Mercurius Glass Jars, but any would work just as well)
- Watercolour paints or food colouring
(We used the Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours. The beauty of using these is that we had seven beautiful rainbow colours to paint with once our experiment was complete. However, other paints or food colouring would work too.)

Download and print the FREE sheets for recording your experiment. There are two versions; one for pre-writers and one for those who are writing.. 

Get your free record sheets
Download and print the FREE sheets for recording your experiment
Walking rainbow experiment for kids

Instructions:

1. Tear off 3 paper towels. Cut each in half to form a rectangle. Fold in half lengthways and then in half lengthways again so you have a long, thin strip of paper towel.

2. Line your 7 jars up. Fill the first and last jars with red watercolour or food colour, the third jar with yellow and the fifth jar with blue.

3.  (Explain the next step to your little learners and have them fill out the ‘predict’ section of the recording sheet): Place a strip of paper towel between each jar. You want the paper towel to just reach the bottom of each jar. Depending upon the size of your jars, you might need to trim some length from your paper towels.

4. Sit back and observe the magic unfold in front of you. Keep popping back every now and then to see what is happening! 

Predict, observe and record
Paint with your Stockmar watercolour paints

5. Encourage your little learners to fill out the ‘observe’ section of their recording sheet. They can even use the watercolours they have created! Ask, “What is happening? Why do you think the colours are changing? Why do you think the water is moving upwards?” For older children, work together to complete the ‘explain’ section of the recording sheet.

6. If you used your Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours, don’t forget to create a beautiful painting when you’ve finished the experiment. And, if you used your Mercurius paint jars, simply pop the lid on and save your gorgeous rainbow colours for another day. Happy experimenting!

The Science behind this experiment:

The water (and colour) moves up the paper towels through a process called capillary action. The gaps in the fibers of the paper towel act like capillary tubes and pull the water upwards. This is a similar process to water climbing from a plant’s roots to its leaves. 

The Science behind this experiment
Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes:

1. When the primary colours mix, they create secondary colours
2. Using a basic scientific model of experimentation; predict, observe, explain
3. Water is able to move upwards through a process called capillary action

You might like:

Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories
Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories
Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories
Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories
Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories
Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories
Stockmar Aquarelle 12x20 ml Watercolours in Wooden Box with accessories

Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 12x20 ml in Wooden Box with accessories

View Details
Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment
Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment
Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment
Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment
Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment
Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment

Stockmar Aquarelle Watercolours 6x20 ml Basic Assortment

View Details
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars
Wooden Paint Holder with 50 ml Glass Jars

Glass Jars with Wooden Paint Holder

View Details
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
Grimms Large 12 Piece Wooden Rainbow Nature Colour Hunt Activity
Grimms Large 12 Piece Wooden Rainbow
Grimms Large 12 Piece Wooden Rainbow with Grimms Balls
Treasures From Jennifer Weather Chart with Grimm's Large Rainbow and Weather Set. Copyright Oskar's Wooden Ark.
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces
Spiel Gut Seals and Certifications
10670 Grimms Large Rainbow 12 pieces

Grimm's Rainbow Large 12 pieces

View Details