- Explore different types of paper and observe how each absorbs colored water
- White paper towels
- Coffee filters (basket style)
- Watercolor paper
- White paper tablecloth
- Food coloring
- Several eye droppers
- Small plastic cups (recycled apple sauce snack cups)
- Several plastic bowls
Dip & Dye Paper Towels
Place several plastic bowls filled with food coloring and water on the table. Give each child a sheet of paper towel that has been folded into fourths. Invite the children to dip the corners of their paper towels into the colored water. Then unfold the paper towels and hang them up to dry. Encourage the children to try folding another paper towel by themselves and to do another round of dipping and dyeing. Children can also shape the paper towel into a ball and dip it into the various dyes.
Coffee Filter Sunbursts
Provide plastic bowls of colored water, eyedroppers, and coffee filters. Ask the children to flatten their coffee filter and drop colors onto the opened filter. Encourage the children to investigate the changes that occur when colors spread, blend together, and change.
Dyed Paper Drawings
Children can also use the droppers and colored water to dye sheets of watercolor paper. After the paper dries, invite the children to create colorful drawings on the paper with crayons or markers.
Festive Tablecloth / Mural
Push two tables together to make one long work area. Cover the tables with a large white paper tablecloth. First give all the children colored water and droppers and invite them to work together to dye the tablecloth. Use their creation to cover the table at a special classroom event or to hang on the wall.
Remember: Because some children don't like getting their hands wet, keep a supply of paintbrushes or plastic eyedroppers available.
Writing: Create an exhibit of the children's different paper dyeing experiences. Include a brief explanation of each process. Encourage children to describe what they did, saw, and enjoyed about the activities. Record their responses and include them in the exhibit.
Let's Paint a Rainbow by Eric Carle
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
Who Said Red? by Mary Serfozo