How to dye flowers with food colouring

Dye flowers ActivityBox DIY activity

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!

Want to do some other activities while you wait? Check out our 7 rainy day activities that will keep your kids busy for hours!

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?

What if you move the flower from one colour to another? Will the colours blend?

If you enjoy doing art and craft activities at home with your child why not try out ActivityBox for a month or two with a monthly subscription!

You can find out what is inside each ActivityBox here and learn more about how it works.

We provide you easy to follow instructions and all the materials you need each month based on a new theme your child will love.

Happy crafting!

~ Miss Julie

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