Flowers are so colorful but how do they get that way? Why are they colorful? Find out by experimenting with the activity below!
- Hot Water
- Containers for Storage
- Flowers of Different Colors
- Rolling Pin
- A Re-Sealable Plastic Bag for Each Color Flower
You will need an adult's help with this activity. You will be using very hot water.
1. Collect your flowers. Try to get different colors that you think will make good watercolors.
2. Pull the petals off the flowers and place the petals into plastic bags. Make sure they are sorted by color.
3. Add a little bit of hot water to each bag and seal them shut. Do you notice any colors coming out of the flower petals yet?
4. After the bags cool down a little, use the rolling pin to press the flowers to get more pigment out of the petals.
5. Pour the liquid into jars and then use to create artwork. How did your flower petal watercolors work out? Did some colors work better than others? Could you try to do the same experiment with different parts of the flower like the stem or the leaves?
What’s happening? Flower petals are a special kind of leaf meant to attract bugs and insects to help with pollination. They come in many different colors and can sometimes change colors over time. All flower petal colors are based on DNA just like our hair and eye colors!
The colors you can see in the petals, and in your new watercolors, come from different chemicals that produce pigments or colors. These chemicals are: