To do this experiment, you need 6 clear glasses, water, 6 plain white paper towels, and food coloring (red, blue, and yellow). We filled every other glass about 2/3 of the way full with water (a total of 3 glasses). The girls took turns putting food coloring in each glass with water. So, we had one glass with blue water, one glass with yellow water, and one glass with red water.
Between each of these glasses was an empty glass, and the 6 glasses formed a circle. We rolled the paper towels and connected the glasses with the paper towels (this may not make sense, but it makes sense if you look at the picture).
Then we watched and waited. After a few minutes, we could see the water beginning to slowly travel up the paper towels. We kept watching...
We left and came back later to check on the progress.
We went into town for snow cones and to play at the playground and came back to find this!
The colors had traveled all the way up the paper towels and were beginning to mix! We were all VERY excited!
When we woke up the next morning, this is what we saw. The colors were mixing within the glasses, but they were very dark and the colors on the paper towels hadn't really mixed.
So, we kept watching, and by the end of the day we had this!
By the next morning, the paper towels had soaked up all the water and were beginning to dry out.
Throughout this process, we discussed the "why" of it...capillary action and the mixing of primary colors to form secondary colors. We were very excited by how well this project turned out, and we saved our colorful and beautiful paper towels for a future art project.