Today, we will be creating a water lily pond (my children can never have enough sensory play) and we also will be conducting a kids science experiment called "Magic Flower."
Drop an easy-to-make DIY paper lily bud in a bowl of water and watch it slowly bloom before your eyes! Both children and adults will be mesmerized by this simple paper craft. This magic flower experiment is powered by a scientific phenomenon called "capillary action" ~ a process of paper absorbing water very rapidly. When paper gets wet, it swells, causing the folded petals of your Magic Flower to open up.
What you will need:
- a dish filled with water
- colorful paper (we are using brightly colors sticky notes)
- stamps (we are using these craft ink pads)
- a pencil.
You would use a pencil and ink pads to create a pistil.
Fill your dish with water.
Also to the water, we will be adding glitter, blue food coloring, and water beads to give our pond its murky greenish look. Please, note that this step is optional, as you might want to keep your water clear.
Carefully set the flower lilies on the water’s surface and wait to see what happens. Your paper flower will be slowly opening up like a real water lily blossoms.
"Capillary" means a tiny tube, like a straw with a tiny bore. If you put paper under a microscope, you will notice that the paper's surface is not solid but is rather made of tiny wood fibers which are tightly interwoven providing amazing strength (paper towel is made to be especially airy). When the paper comes into contact with water, the amazing power of capillary action rapidly draws water into all these tiny spaces. That is happening because the water is slightly more attracted to the wood fibers than to itself. When the paper absorbs water ~ thanks to capillary action~ it swells, causing any folds to open back up again.
An extension: try folding each neighboring petal over sequentially. Your flower will open very differently than if you folded each opposite pair. Try experimenting with the order and see what happens.
The best thing about Magic Flowers is that they are super easy to make and you can let the little hands happily craft with a little magic happening at the end. I hope the Magic Flower experiment will brighten up your day and trigger those inquisitive minds.
See our ☀️Summer Themed Unit Study here.
For more on the Capillary action, see below…
See here 💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water)
See here 🖌Markers ☕Coffee Filters 🌈Rainbow Walking 💦Water ⌛️Timelapse Kids ⚗️Science Capillary Action.
See how we made hydrogels below …
See here a 🎥 video of how we "made" hydrogel beads in Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel ❤️️ Water Beads