Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Learning about water wicking

I decided to put a couple of repeating events on my calendar to remind me to do the specific kinds of activities Moira keeps asking for, but that seem somehow incredibly daunting when I'm suddenly trying to come up with an idea, and clean off the table so we can do it, while Davis screams for water. Right now, that is science (with our new science notebook and what I'm loosely calling "world studies."
I also remembered that I do not need to be the one planning all of this. After all, Moira needs to know how to look for and find information on her own, and it's never to early to learn how to Google. So, I asked what she wanted to learn about, and she wanted to try something we did last winter, where she drew on a piece of paper towel and we watched the water wick and how it moved the color around the paper towel. We sat down with my computer and looked through my Pinterest boards for the link we used before, but couldn't find it. There were multiple other pins that talked about absorption and water wicking and so we looked at those and Moira came up with a project that combined a couple of them.
Which will wick more
I suggested we start with different drawing materials and see which one would wick the most (tempera,watercolor, crayon, pencil, pen). Before we put the water on, Moira guessed which would wick most and least. The numbers in the boxes are the after water application numbers for the order of most to least. Tempera was hard to figure out because it was still a little wet, and so the paint did move around when we got it wetter. I did not make suggestions for what I thought was the right order.
Finished dry painting
Having seen how much the watercolor spread, she wanted to do some painting on both wet and dry paper towels.
Finished wet painting
She kept up a big running commentary while she was doing this about how she was working, and what the paint was doing. We also talked about why they yellow paint was getting used up faster (bigger brush) and what happened when the colors ran into each other. She really liked how the paint got all spidery on the wet paper towel.
After her paintings were done, we talked about how fast the watercolors wicked, and decided to use a pen for the final experiment.
Wicking water
I suggested lots of different colors of lines so that we could see them run together. This was the part she was most excited about when planning, but we had to run to gymnastics when we were done, and when we came back she didn't give it more than a glance. She did notice when I put the cup of water on a jar to prop it up, and so we talked about where all the water in cup went, and why, but that was it.


  1. It's cool when they come up with their own activities! Mikko's always involve wasting food.

    I'm pinning this so I have something to do on one of those "What now?" sort of days.

  2. Oh, this looks like fun! I also am guilty of assuming that *I* have to plan everything and/or come up with the ideas, but in reality that is not the case. I'm going to be checking out your process art ideas so we have more open-ended indoor activities to do here as the weather gets colder and wetter.