Does it add up? (experiment)

by | Mar 18, 2015 | 6 yr old, 7 year old, activities, science, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This is a fun experiment that’s almost like a magic trick. I came upon this when we were having fun with the materials for the Sky Blue Experiment and Cutie Pie was trying to make his own little experiment.

Since this involves both water and rubbing alcohol, which look the same when in a clear container, you can easily leave your child totally confused if you don’t let them know you are using two different liquids! (I’ll leave it up to you if you’d like to be a magician or not!)

Does it add up Experiment


It goes without saying that this is a science experiment, so use protective clothing, cover your workspace if you deem it necessary and make sure there is an adult around!


  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Food coloring
  • Small clear container
  • Tablespoon
  • Marking utensil


Pour exactly 1 tbsp water into container. Mark the level of the liquid with a line or the number 1.

Add a second tbsp of water and mark it with a line as well, or number 2. Notice there are two distinctly different lines. (Its important to be exact if you can!)

Hypothesize what will happen when you add a tbsp of water and a tbsp of rubbing alcohol together. If you are not letting your child know there are two different liquids, make sure to use the correct phrasing!

Add food coloring to 1 tbsp water and put into container. It should be level with your first line.

Add food coloring to 1 tbsp rubbing alcohol and add it to the water.

Questions: Is this level with line 2? Was your hypothesis correct?

Explanation: You just discovered spaces lurk between water molecules!

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