Capillary Action Experiment -
Escaping Water

A Peculiar Playdate #11 ∙ Published May 12, 2019
Capillary Action - Putting Food Coloring in glasses
Capillary action experiment demonstrates one of the coolest “superpowers” of liquids. In this one, we’ll make water go up the glass and into a bowl, without touching neither glass nor bowl. The experiment is pretty straightforward but can be pretty lengthy. So after you’ve started it, you’ll have time make a cup of tea or try another experiment from our list of playdate ideas!
What you need
  • A water glass (we used five!)
  • Bowl
  • Scissors
  • Some water
  • Cloth or paper towel
  • We also used food coloring for fun!
Capillary Action - Things you need
How to make it
Capillary Action - Pouring water in glasses
Step 1
Pour some water into three of the glasses
Capillary Action - Pouring food coloring
Step 2
Put different food colorings in them
Capillary Action - twisting the paper towel
Step 3
Prepare your wick by twisting a cloth or paper towel
Capillary Action - bending the paper towel
Step 4
Bend it in the middle
Capillary Action - putting paper towel in glasses
Step 5
Place one end of the wick into the glass, and another into a glass nearby
Capillary Action - waiting for water to move
Step 6
What happens
Water will slowly ooze from a cup into a different via paper towel! You should see results in about a minute because the colors in empty glasses will start to mix! After the level of water in glass and bowl becomes equal, it will stop moving. For most of the water to move into a bowl, you’ll need to place a glass on something higher than a bowl.
Capillary Action - water moves via paper towel
Why it happens
As the name of this experiment suggests, it’s because of the physical phenomena knows as capillary action. There are millions of small spaces in the towel and water gradually advances through them along our twisted material. Capillary action is also what moves the moisture in plants from its roots up into the rest of the plant. It is pretty powerful, as some of the plants can be hundreds of feet high!

Feathers in exchange for prizes

While working on this playdate idea, our Keedoo Parrot has lost three feathers 😔 Please help us! Collect them by bringing this idea to life with your kids, and we will gratefully exchange them for valuable prizes.
  1. Try making this experiment
  2. Share your experience on Instagram or Facebook
  3. Mention @getkeedoo in comments
  4. Nominate two families to do the same
  5. We will contact you to add three feathers to your Keedoo account that you can exchange for prizes in our mobile app
  6. Follow @getkeedoo on Instagram to see new prizes
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