Chromatography Science for Kids

I love this super easy chromatography experiment for kids! It kind of reminds me of the actual chromatography techniques I used in the lab as a student. Most importantly though, this experiment is fun! It is so magical watching the colors appear.

Paper chromatography is a scientific technique that is used to separate and identify individual components within mixtures. It can be used to identify proteins and even genes in a mixture of liquids. In this activity, we simply use chromatography to make the colors magically appear on our robots.


This is what you will need:

Paper towel

Washable marker pens (the pens must be washable for this experiment to work).

Black permanent marker

Shallow plate or dish



This is what you will need to do:

1. Tear the paper towel into individual sheets and fold each piece in half. Open the paper towel and draw on the right hand side of the fold with the washable markers. You can draw anything that you like. We drew robots for this experiment. And if you prefer, you can lightly draw your pictures with pencil first and then color with markers.

2. Fold the paper towel back over and trace around your drawings with black permanent marker. Add as much detail as you like.

Here is a picture of the four robots that we drew.

3. Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of a dish or container.

4. Gently drop your paper towel directly into the water. The colors that you have drawn will magically appear.

The most important part of this experiment is that you use washable markers. The experiment doesn’t work as well, if at all, if you use permanent, non washable markers for your coloring.

Here is a super fun robot memory match game for you! Thanks so much for reading! Jacinta Xx Enjoy


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