This activity combines nature, art and science and creates a real, “WOW!” Your children will be amazed at the results so do give it a try.
Spray Bottle Painting (with a science twist)
You will need:
- 3 spray bottles (or you can use old toothbrushes to splatter paint)
- 2 cups of chopped red cabbage.
- boiling water
- lemon juice
- baking soda
Prepare your red cabbage paint;
- Chop the cabbage into small pieces until you have about 2 cups of chopped cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large glass container and add boiling water to cover the cabbage. Allow at least 10 minutes for the color to leach out of the cabbage. Alternatively, you can place about 2 cups of cabbage in a blender, cover it with boiling water, and blend it.
- Filter out the plant material to obtain a red-purple-bluish coloured liquid.
- Wait for your cabbage paint to cool before you pour it into one of the spray bottles
In the other two spray bottles add the lemon juice to one and the baking soda mixed with water until it is thin enough to spray to the other.
Now head out for your walk…
When out for your walk today collect interesting shaped leaves, or other things with interesting shapes. Do you remember the names of the trees from our leaf identification activity?
When you get home lay out your interestingly shaped objects out onto your paper. Spray your paper from a distance with the cabbage juice paint, spray it all over getting splatters all over your page. Carefully remove the items from your paper, trying not to let the cabbage juice paint drip off the items. you should see the negative image of all the shapes you laid on your paper.
Now this is where the magic comes in, spray part of your masterpiece with the lemon juice and watch what happens. Now spray part of your master piece with the baking soda water and watch what happens. Magic? Or science?
A substance in the cabbage juice (anthocyanin) is a great indicator of pH, when you make the cabbage juice it has a, roughly, neutral pH, lemon juice is acidic so it changes the colour in one way but baking soda is basic so it changes the colour another way. If you have any cabbage juice paint left why not pour a little of it into separate glass jars and see what other substances around your house do to the colour?