Easy Paper Science Experiment

First off, I have to give my 4 year old credit for this one. She asked me if she could do an experiment with paper and water. At first, I started to tell her that paper will just fall apart in water, but then I corrected myself. How will she know that, if she doesn’t see it for herself?

I expanded a little and added oil and vinegar to the mix, but all in all, the whole thing was her idea.

We had just done some preschool work with some little astronaut cut-outs, so we decided to use those. If you’re interested in free printable preschool theme packs, visit Homeschool Creations for these and many others.


I let her pour in the water,…


…the vinegar,…


…and the oil, each into a separate shallow, tiny bowl.


The color on the paper, in the water, instantly started to fade, and my 4 year old noticed.


This is what all 3 of them looked like after about 20 minutes. We observed that the papers in the water and vinegar were both fading, while the paper in the oil was not.


After an hour, the touching began. This was the most interesting part of the experiment for my daughter.

When she gently rubbed the paper in the water, it started to fall apart.


When she rubbed the paper in the vinegar, it began to fall apart as well.


When she rubbed the paper in the oil, it was slippery and didn’t fall apart at all. It also hadn’t faded, like the other 2.


When doing experiments, like this, I think the most important part is the communication. We talk about everything we see, even if it seems obvious.


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