pH Painting

by , posted on February 7th, 2011 in Arts & Crafts, Science Fun

In the Science Issue of Classic Play!, brilliant scientist turned madly-talented illustrator Mithila Shafiq offered up a science experiment that doubles as an art project.

Since it looked like a heap o’ fun, we decided to try it out for ourselves. I boiled up some red cabbage, soaked pieces of watercolor paper and then we went around the house to find products to test. There is a great list of commonly found acids and bases in Mithi’s article.

Notes: We cut up a plastic egg carton to hold our solutions. It was the perfect container.

This was a great experiment that kept the kids entertained for a good part of an afternoon: sourcing materials, painting, hypothesizing, discussing. This makes a terrific weekend project OR science party activity.

And here’s another idea too: homemade gift! Make a batch of pH paper, add some little jars, paintbrushes and instructions for this activity and put it in a cute little box. Instant science kit.

Oh! Oh! Oh! One more idea: if you’re having a science party, you could send kids home with pieces of the cabbage pH paper in their goody bag too. It’d be very cute, inexpensive (especially if you have a crowd) and original.



Be sure to visit the original post in our Science Issue for complete instructions on how to make red cabbage pH paper plus the science behind why it works! While you’re there, click through to read about all things science: essays, crafts, family field trips, gifts and more!

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One Response to “pH Painting”

  1. Spies Like Us: Secret Codes pt 3 Says:

    April 10th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    [...] friend Mithi taught us that certain fruits and veggies contain anthocyanins and that anthocyanins change color when they mix with an acid or [...]

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