Sunday, July 29, 2018

Science…we love it. Many times when we have gone past the floral area at the grocery store and smell the roses and browse the array of different colored of daisies and carnations, my daughters have an ongoing speculation to see if the dyed flowers are a "true" color or a "dyed" color, even though they are going to be in 6th and 9th grade, it is a tradition that has never stopped.

Over the past several years, I have taught Junior Kindergarten, this past year we did a fun flower dying experiment that I thought the students might enjoy. They were a group of students who loved to participate and observe different experiments to see what would happen. We would then document our findings in their science binder that we worked on all year long. 

Our flower dying experiment was over a course of several days. We started out using older daisies that we had purchased later the week before at home, and I brought them in for the experiment. We trimmed the bottom of the flower stems and placed them in the colored water glasses. The older flowers did not dye as well as we had hoped, but we knew that might be the case going into the experiment. A few days later we purchased new flowers and this time they did much better and the color was obvious and vibrant. 

One question the students had asked was, "how soon do you think we will see the color in the petals?" Within two hours, it was amazing to see the colors showing in the white petals. By the next morning, the flowers were fully dyed and in a brilliant shades of yellow, blue, red and green.

We even wondered if certain colors would dye the petals quicker than others. It seemed to us, the blue and the green food coloring dyed the white petals the fastest. I know in the printing world, that when you print with blue ink, it takes longer to dry than any other color just due to the pigment. It doesn't relate to the experiment but it is an interesting fact that makes you think about inks/coloring in general.

What kind of flowers can you use?
  • White carnations
  • White daisies
  • White roses 
  • White carnations 
  • White mums
The Experiment!
  • First place water in the bottom of your jars or glasses. Fill them so that they do not tip over. A nice solid glass. 
  • Next drop in food coloring until you get a nice, rich color. You can even add to the experiment by color mixing your primary colors, or even other colors that are in the food coloring box. Then mix your desired coloring in the jar so that it has dissolved. 
  • Take your flowers and at the bottom of the stem, cut at an angle. 
  • Remove the leaves that are near the bottom to keep them from sitting in your water.
  • Place your flowers in the jars.
Remember, the longer you keep your flowers in the dye the darker they will become.

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