Explore Black Markers

Ideal for Preschool/Pre-K, School-Age

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to observe changes in color, ask questions, and make predictions.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper towels
  • Nonpermanent black marker
  • Cups
  • Water
  • Ruler

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Present your child with a strip of paper towel. Demonstrate how to color one end of the paper towel with a nonpermanent black marker. Place the colored tip of the paper towel into a cup of water and watch the colors separate and travel up the towel.
  2. Ask, which color traveled the farthest? Can you predict what will happen to the black ink on the paper towel? What do you think would happen if you put the entire paper towel in the cup? What do you notice about the colors? What do you think might happen if we left the paper towel in the water longer? What would happen if we used different colors?
  3. The children can use the ruler to measure the distance the color traveled on the strip of paper towel.

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