Virtual Museum – Water That Walks


Learn about absorption and gravity in this fun science activity!


  • 7 small plastic cups or glasses
  • 6 paper towels
  • 3 primary food colors: red, yellow and blue
  • Water
  • Optional: print out Water Walking Color Mixing Sheet and crayons (red, yellow, orange, blue, green and purple)


  1. Place 7 cups in a row. Pour water into the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th cup until they are half full.
  2. Add 5 drops of red food coloring to the 1st cup and the 7th cup.
  3. Add 5 drops of yellow food coloring to the 3rd cup.
  4. Add 5 drops of blue food coloring to the 5th cup.
  5. In each cup, stir the food coloring and water together, mixing them completely.
  6. Take 6 paper towels. Fold each towel into 2 inch wide strips. Then fold them in half lengthwise.
  7. Start with the first glass, and place one end of the paper towel strip into the red water and the other end into the first empty glass. Put another end of a paper towel strip into the first empty glass and put the other end into the third glass with yellow water. Repeat this until you get to the 7th cup.
  8. Leave the cups alone for one or two hours and return to make your observation.


  • What happens to the empty cups?
  • What color do you think the water will be when it fills the middle cups?
  • How long do you think it will take before the water walks?


  • Introduces your child to the scientific processes of experimentation and observation
  • Introduces your child to basic concepts of mixing primary colors
  • Supports your child’s fine motor skill development (e.g. folding paper).


What happens if you increase or decrease the water level you start with? What happens if you change the length of the paper towel? Encourage your child to make observations on how long it takes the water to reach each empty glass.