Walking Water Experiment

Since children are always curious about their surroundings, they naturally love to touch and feel various objects and experiment with them. They are brimming with a million questions that you may sometimes find difficult to answer.

Here’s an easy-to-set-up science experiment your kids will love. The purpose of walking water experiments is to learn how water can flow without the help of external forces, while also learning about the mixing of colors. Learn about this awesome walking water experiment below.

Walking Water Science Experiment: Instructions

Here are the steps you need to follow to carry out the walking water science experiment:

First, let’s look at the materials you will need:

  • Water
  • Liquid gel food coloring
  • 7 small, clear cups of glass
  • 6 folded half sheets of paper towel

Step 1: Fill 4 cups with water, almost up to the brim.

Step 2: Add 1 drop of blue food coloring to one of the cups, 1 drop of yellow food coloring to another cup, and 1 drop of red food coloring each in 2 of the remaining cups filled with water.

Step 3: Place the cups in a single line, in the following order: Red cup, empty cup, yellow cup, empty cup, blue cup, empty cup, red cup.

Step 4: Take your 6 paper towels, fold them, and trim 1/4th off the end to ensure they’re not very long.

Step 5: Place these paper towels into the cups in such a way that they’re connecting with the empty cups.

Step 6: You’ll notice how the color of the paper towels changes as the water and dye move up and fill the empty cups with different colors.

Step 7: You’ll find that red and yellow mix to create orange, blue and red mix to create purple, and blue and yellow mix to create green.

Step 8: In about 2-3 hours, you’ll notice that the empty cups will be completely filled with new colors. (Resulting due to the cups next to them) You now have a walking rainbow!

How long does the walking water experiment take overall? Set-up is simple, but the result would take a little under 3 hours to show.

Learn the Science Behind the Walking Water Experiment

Kids learn about the mixing of colors. But apart from that, through the walking water experiment, kids learn about capillary action too. 

What is capillary action? In this experiment, you’ll notice how the water moves up the paper towels along with the food dye molecules. It is due to capillary action that trees get the water from the ground too. The fibers that are found in plants are the same that are found in paper towels and are called cellulose.

Walking Water Science Experiment Questions

While you wait for the walking water experiment results, you could ask your child the following questions:

  1. What do you think will happen during the walking water science experiment?
  2. Do you think all the water from one glass might move to the other?
  3. What are some of your other predictions?
  4. What do you think might happen if you wait longer?

Liked the Walking Water Experiment? Check Out Similar Science Experiments

Try other experiments similar to the water walking experiment!

Experiment 1: Color Changing Science Experiment

Take a glass of water and put in a few drops of blue food coloring. Take another glass of water and put a few drops of yellow food coloring. Next, take a big empty bowl and place your glass of water with blue coloring right in the center of it. Next, empty your glass with yellow food coloring water into this bowl. You’ll find that one portion of the water appears green because of the combining of blue and yellow colors. This experiment explores similar concepts from the walking water experiment.

Experiment 2: Water Temperature Science Experiment

This too explores the mixing of colors much like the walking water experiment. To begin, take three cups of water of different temperatures: cold, room temperature, and hot. Next, put a few drops of food coloring in each cup of water. You’ll notice that the hot water mixes with the food coloring the quickest. This happens because hot water consists of higher thermal energy. When a liquid has higher thermal energy, the molecules in it move faster.

For more hands-on, fun science experiments for kids, check the rest of our website. We also offer a wide range of STEM activities for kids that blend learning and fun, while sparking your little one’s creativity, curiosity, and imagination.