Rainy Day, Science

How to dye flowers with food colouring

Dye flowers to brighten up your home with a burst of colour!

Hi there!

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. And while it’s hard to improve on mother nature’s colours, you and your kids can dye flowers to add a burst of colour to your home on a rainy weekend.

Dyeing white flowers with food colouring is a quick and fun activity for children of all ages to enjoy. All you need are white flowers and food colouring (and a little patience!).

It’s a simple activity that will keep children entertained. Or turn it into a science experiment to extend the fun and learning.

Dying flowers is a fun project for the kids to do with Dad to make a surprise for Mother’s Day!

Ask your child how do they think flowers get water to drink? The water somehow has to move from the roots up to the flower petals. Let’s try an experiment to find out how that happens.

Let’s get started!

Dye flowers with food colouring

Start to finish time: 15 minutes

Prep time: 5 minutes / Total time: 6 Hours or overnight for best results

What you need:

  • White flowers – (I find chrysanthemums work best)
  • Food colouring
  • Clear cups or glasses
  • Kitchen scissors or knife

Step 1: Take out your supplies

  • Prepare your work area
  • Lay down some newspaper and have a damp cloth handy for easy clean-up!
  • Take out flowers, food colouring, clear cups or glasses and trim the stems so they are a good length for your cups.
Dye Flowers kids activity Supplies

Step 2: Add food colouring and flowers

  • Fill 3 cups 2/3 full with water. Warm water makes it work faster!
  • Add a different colour to each cup. Be generous with the amount of colour you add.
  • Put one or more flowers in each cup
Dye Flowers kids activity Step 1

Step 3: What do you think will happen?

Wait and watch!

The flowers will start changing colour within the hour, with some colours appearing faster than others. The longer the flower stem sits in the coloured water, the more of the dye the flower will absorb as it “drinks” the water.

It may take a few hours for the colour to make its way up to the petals. Leave your dyed flowers overnight for best results!

Dye Flowers kids activity step 2

What do you observe? How does this happen?

The water is being absorbed, or soaked up, by the flower through a process called capillary action. This is how flowers, trees and other plants soak up water from the ground! Because the water is coloured, the petals absorb the colour along with the water.

Dye Flowers kids activity step 3

Can you think of other experiments you can do when you dye flowers?

If you are looking for fun arts and craft ideas, check out the DIY activities on our blog. Or if you are interested in a convenient way for your kids to learn creative thinking at home with your kids in Hong Kong, sign up for ActivityBox!

Sign-up for a flexible Month by Month Plan or get the full benefits from our 3-Month Plan and 6-Month Plan.

Each month you’ll receive a Box with 4 art and craft activities to do together with your kids at home. Step by step instructions and all the materials you need are included, so it’s easy to get started this weekend. And the art Tool Kit makes it even more convenient

Questions? Check out our FAQs page for more info.

Until next time,

~ Miss Julie