- Explore the properties of oil and water
- White coffee filters
- Food coloring
- Shallow pans
- Vegetable oil in squeeze bottles
- 6 clothes pins
- 3 aprons or smocks
Set Up and Prepare
- Be sure you have sufficient space for drying drippy pictures. Then cover the art table with newspaper.
- Place the shallow pans on the table and put an inch or less of water in each one.
Step 1: Talk with children about the different appearance of oil and water. Ask them which solution they think is heavier and which one they think will pour more slowly. Test their theories.
Step 2: Ask the children to put on their smocks. Then help them add a little food coloring to each pan.
Step 3: Use the squeeze bottle to squirt several blobs of oil into each pan of colored water. Talk about what happens.
Step 4: Offer children each coffee filter and two clothespins. Show them how to use the pins to make handles for the filters. Ask the children, "What do you think will happen when you dip your papers in the pans?"
Step 5: Push the filter papers all the way to the bottom of the pans, then pull them out. Remind the children to hold the filters over the pans so they can drip. Help remove the clothespins from the wet filters. Place the filters on paper to dry.
Step 6: As the filter papers dry, watch what happens to the areas where the filters absorbed the oil. What happens when you hang the filters in the window?
Try dipping the filters in several colors. Invite children to compare translucent items (like the filters) with those that are opaque. What are the different qualities of each type of material?