Leaf Color Experiment

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Our autumnal fun continues! Although the science behind this experiment is advanced for toddlers, even little kids will delight in seeing how the water changes colors. For preschoolers and older kids, you can go into more detail about chlorophyll and why leaves change color in the fall.

As with our leaf glitter project, half the beauty of this activity is going out to collect your leaves. Get outside and have fun!

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Choose a variety of autumn-hued leaves, and return home to cook in boiling water for 5 minutes. Carefully use tongs (adults only!) to transfer the leaves to clear glasses or test tubes filled with rubbing alcohol.

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Let sit for at least an hour, and you’ll see the alcohol “magically” change color to match each leaf. The results will only get better after time – at the 8 hour mark, Travis was really excited to note the changes. Leave over night for the most vibrant result.

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Interestingly, our green performed the best, and our most vibrant fall orange leaf barely tinted the liquid. Even adults can be surprised by experiments!