Coffee Filter Science Experiment



Ready for some more simple science fun with the kids?

I remember doing this one back in elementary school.  All you need are some coffee filters, colored markers, water, and a little patience and you can explore chromatography!  (Don’t worry, it’s just a big word which basically means you are going to separate the colors.)

I showed the kids how to make colored dots with the markers along the bottom edge of the coffee filter. coffee filter experiment


Then we put just the edge of the filter into a shallow container of water, making sure the marker dots were above the water.  (I had to use some clothes pins to hold the filters onto the edge of the container so they wouldn’t slide to deep into the water.)

Almost immediately you will see the colors start to spread as the filter soaks up water.

chromatography experiment

Make sure you keep those marker dots above the water line!


If you are patient enough the different colors will spread all the way to the edge of the filter.  This is really pretty if you use several different colored dots!

Once the color was all the way to the edge, we took the filters out to dry. kids coffee filter experiment (If you don’t take them out of the water, the color will eventually disappear except for a thin line of color up at the top — like our green one in the picture above.)

I think my youngest preschooler could have drawn dots and watched the colors all day.  We had a stove top full of colorful coffee filters when we were finished.  coffee filter experiment


And what do you do with all those colorful filters?

Craft with them, of course!  Be sure to come back and see what we make with our coffee filters later this week!  (Here is the link to the crafts we did with them.)



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25 Responses

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  1. WOW…I want to do that just for myself, LOL… that is cool babe. We could also hang them in Dino’s room for decorations.
    karen recently posted..Dinosaur Silliness

    1. Oh, I’m betting they’d look great on some windows!

  2. Science! I love stuff like this.
    Mrs. Tucker (Patti) recently posted..Flat Head Syndrome

  3. What a great science project! Thank you for spreading JOY and sharing at the Oh What a HAPPY Day party.

    Holly at Not Done Growing
    Holly recently posted..Oh What A HAPPY Day Party!

    1. Thank YOU for hosting! Have a great week!

  4. The colours look so pretty! Thanks for sharing the happiness at Oh What a HAPPY Day Link Party.

  5. Very cool activity!!
    Diana Rambles recently posted..Must Follow Facebook Party 1

    1. They definitely enjoyed it!

  6. My preschooler loves doing science experiments. I’ll have to remember to pick up some coffee filters for him to try this one. It looks so much fun.
    Victoria B. recently posted..ID On Me Bracelet Product Review

    1. I really think they could have done it until all the filters were gone! This week I’m sharing a couple crafts we did with our filters after they dried.

  7. Cool! Love this! There’s a brand new LINK-UP Party going n over at and we would love to have you join us!! Here’s the link :
    Sue from theT2women recently posted..Welcome to One Sharendipity Place & Link-up #2

    1. Thank you for the invite; looking forward to checking it out this week!

  8. Really great idea! I am looking forward to trying this with my daughters–thanks for sharing!

    Planting Daffodils
    Jenn recently posted..Stella & Dot Inspired Necklace

    1. Hope you guys have as much fun as we did!

  9. These are such fun projects. Reagan and I made something similar a couple months ago. She loves doing this kind of stuff.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Lanaya @ Raising Reagan recently posted..Raising Imperfection Sunday Link Up Week 25

  10. Oh what a wonderful activity, simple but fun. I will be saving this for the future for sure!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

    1. Thank you; and thank you for hosting the link up!

  11. I’m definitely looking for summer science projects with my son starting summer vacation on Wednesday (eek!) And I love reusing it!
    April @ recently posted..Fitness Friday: Smiling Great

    1. Wow! Out for summer already! Here they go until the end of the first week of June.

      Hope you have an awesome summer together!

  12. Ooh I can’t wait to see what you make. Lovely idea. Thanks so much for linking up to the Pin-It Party! Have pinned and will follow now :)
    Mum of One recently posted..Mondays Parenting Pin-It Party!

    1. Thanks for pinning it! Our crafts are up: Hope you get a chance to check them out!

      I can’t wait to check out your pinterest boards — always looking for new people to follow!

  13. Great activity, thanks for sharing on craft schooling sunday!
    Sara recently posted..Fingernail Polish & Glass Pebble Jewelry For Your Summer Wardrobe!

    1. Thanks for hosting!
      Have a great week!

  14. Oh, how neat and pretty! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!
    Carrie recently posted..All in Just One Cookie Book & Fun Activity

    1. Thank you! I think we will be doing these again soon! :)

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