Chromatography or Separating Colors

Color oil

Color oil (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I’d like to give you three age-appropriate activities for chromatography or (easier to understand) separating colors.
For young ones: you need small cups, water, food coloring, a dropper and paper towels. Color each cup of water a different color.
Using the dropper have your child mix two of the colors together in an empty cup. Red and blue make purple, blue and yellow make green, yellow and red make orange. They will be amazed at the “magic” of making new colors! Now–take a dropper full from the newly made color and drop it on the paper towel. Watch the colors separate! (Purple works best).

Older children can “race” colors by marking different marker colors in a row 1/2 inch from the bottom of a square piece of a coffee filter then standing that end in shallow water. The colors will race up the filter at different rates.

The last activity I will share with you is how to make any type of decorated cover. Place your cloth over paper towels or news paper. Using sharpie permanent markers draw on the clean piece of light cloth ( a sheet works best). Wet the picture you have drawn with alcohol. The colors will separate and run. Allow the cloth to dry. We made an alter cloth for the school chapel using this method. I don’t know if you can wash the cloth or not. But it is a fun project.

I’d like to hear from you on how these projects worked for you——-


One thought on “Chromatography or Separating Colors

  1. Pingback: Colonization, Size Exclusion Chromatography | NerdlyPainter

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