Tuesday, January 24, 2012

32) Cornstarch Color Mixing Experiment

A new favorite book in our house is Mice Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh. The book is a charming tale of three mice who inadvertently discover that they can mix paint colors to make new colors. The Bee and The Bean have been requesting this book for over a week, so I thought they might enjoy a little color mixing of their own. We attempted to do the Rainbow In A Bag project from The Artful Parent a few months ago, only to find that I hadn't fully read the directions and didn't have all the ingredients. So instead we did another similar project that turned out well but didn't totally have the color mixing component that this project did. So this time, armed with the right ingredients we gave it a go. I begin by mixing 1 cup of cornstarch, 1/3 cup of sugar and 4 cups of water into a saucepan over medium-high heat. I then stirred constantly for a few minutes, this is one of those things were you stand there and think this is not working, this is not working and then all of the sudden it is done. The mixture very quickly coagulates and becomes the consistency of Vaseline. At which point you want to take it off the heat and give it a second to cool down a little. We then divided the cornstarch mix into three separate bowls and the Bee added food coloring making one bowl red, one bowl yellow and one bowl blue. We then took three plastic bags, in one we put a little red and a little blue, in the other we put a little blue and a little yellow and in the last we put a little yellow and a little red. I then turned the bags over to the Bee and Bean to mix and mash to their hearts delight. The thing that make this project so fun is that while the cornstarch mix is very soft and pliable it actually takes a while of pushing and mushing to mix the colors so
in the meantime you get this beautiful variation of color in the bag, that truly looks like a rainbow! The Bee and Bean spent an impressively (at 3 and 1 they don't always have the longest attention spans) long time playing with these and I have to say I was really as mesmerized by the colors as they were.                                    

1 comment:

  1. Did this activity with my 5, 3, and 1 year old and it was awesome! They loved it! Thanks for sharing!