Water Drawings – Kids Experiment

Attention all animators, there’s an easier method to get things moving! This is the Water Drawings experiment, a fun yet simple activity to make words and drawings “come to life” using very common household objects. To begin, let’s first go through what equipment is required:

You will need:

  • Dry-Erase Marker
  • Water
  • Measuring Cup
  • Plate (suitable for drawing on)

Method:

  • After gathering all your necessary equipment, you’ll first want to find a work space that you don’t mind getting wet. Prepare your plate and marker and think about what you want to draw on it. It can be as simple as writing out a word or you can make drawings using your marker.
  • Once you’ve got an idea in your head, it’s time to start drawing! When doing so, be careful as to not press too hard when using your marker to avoid permanent markings on your plate. Furthermore, If you’ve got different coloured dry-erase markers, even better – why not use a mix of all of them?
  • Following on from that, you’ll next want to grab some water, filling up your measuring cup to about halfway. Slowly and carefully start pouring water onto the side of your plate, avoiding pouring directly onto your drawings if possible. As the water fills the plate, your drawings should detach from the plate and rise with the water. From there, you should see your water drawings “come to life” as they float on top of the water.

The Science Bit:

Now, let’s explore the chemistry behind the Water Drawings experiment!

The ink in dry-erase markers is insoluble in water, meaning that when exposed to liquid the ink doesn’t dissolve. However, something called cohesion is forming as the marker dries on the plate. Once the cohesion is completed and the ink dries, the surface tension of the water pulls the dry-erase marker off from the plate. From there, your drawing starts to float because it is less dense than the water and the dry erase molecules are free to float on top of the water molecules.