Shy Blue science experiment

by | Jan 23, 2015 | 3 yr old, 4 yr old, 5 yr old, 6 yr old, 7 year old, activities, science, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Affiliate links imageWith the bitterly cold weather we’ve been doing a few more things inside. (Read – experiments!)

Science Experiment at

I’m sharing a fun one today. It’s called Shy Blue and requires only a few materials which you most likely have in your home. (We’ve done this experiment before. I took pictures this most recent time, but only the one with green food coloring came out. The one below is from last year when I prepped another post, but never published it.)

The Science Experiment

  • White plate
  • Drop of blue water (add food coloring to a little bit of water, it doesn’t have to be blue)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Medicine dropper or drinking straw

Simply pour a small puddle of blue water in the center of the plate. Then fill the medicine dropper with alcohol. Squeeze the medicine dropper bulb to let the alcohol fall on the plate, hitting the puddle of water as you do.

What happens?

Why is this called ‘Shy’ blue?

Both the water and rubbing alcohol have surface tension. The water’s surface tension is stronger than that of the rubbing alcohol, so it pulls away (not letting the molecules of the rubbing alcohol combine with its own.) This reminds me of shy little children meeting someone new…they hide or pull back!

I found this experiment in 365 More Simple Science Experiments (this is the affiliate link!) a book chocked full of simple experiments that generally require materials found in your home. These experiments are easy to do and easy to understand. My boys really love doing them!

When you did this experiment, what happened with the water and the rubbing alcohol?

Disclaimer – An affiliate link to is used in this post. Upon following this link I may or may not receive a commission, but it will be at no additional cost to the purchaser.

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