We have been trying to do this simple science experiment for the past year, but every time we tried it it never worked! I literally was pulling my hair out over this, I mean this is an experiment that even a toddler could do, so why couldn’t we get it to work?  We tried many different ways and eventually it worked!  The important things to remember are: use really fresh white flowers, cut the stalks to as short as you can and use coloured ink rather than food colouring. The final time we did this my youngest charge and I went out to M&S to choose some white flowers, then back at home she helped me pick which inks to use, she really wanted to help cut the cartridges open but it was rather difficult and very messy so this part is better left to the adult. Throughout the week she would check on the flowers every time she came into the kitchen to see if they had changed colour. She was absolutely amazed at the transformation, to her it was magic rather than science that caused the change, and every time she comes home with a picked flower she always asks to put it into coloured water.

To dye your own flowers you will need:

  • White flowers (we used roses)
  • Knife
  • Coloured ink
  • Cup
  • Water
  1. Cut the stem as short as you can.
  2. In each cup add water and then add the coloured ink.
  3. Place the flowers into the cup and place it somewhere where it will get plenty of light.

Although I had plenty of failures with this, you could use those failures as an experiment in itself; see what dyes the flowers better, does the length of the stem make any difference to up take of the colour, or does the type of flower make a difference.  You could also try cutting the stem in half and putting one side into one colour and the other side of the stem into a different colour.

This activity may help development of:

  • Scientific inquiry
  • Understanding of how plants absorb water

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