Young children love to explore water! And no wonder- playing in water, with all of it’s interesting properties, presents young children with both satisfaction and challenges. The Capillary Action Snowflakes activity allows children to explore one of water’s most appealing properties: it’s “stickiness”. Water molecules stick to almost everything- the table, your hand, paper, and even other water molecules. This stickiness is what allows water to move through the coffee filter, taking all of the colors with it and mixing them together.
The Discovery Center’s Capillary Action Snowflakes activity encourages visitors to develop their observation skills and practice using science tools. This activity provides a fun introduction to the properties of water, by exploring the scientific concepts of capillary action, adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension.
During the activity, children create a model of a snowflake using coffee filters, scissors, markers, and water. Using this model, grownups are then able talk with children about the properties of real snowflakes, and how a real snowflake is, and is not, like the model they make.
Creating Capillary Action Snowflakes also lets children experience how primary colors mix together to form new colors.