{Hands On} Kid Science: Water Absorption Experiment

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Young children benefit greatly from hands on learning.  This water absorption project is not only hands on but it is also a great water experiment – and kids love water!  The next time you have to clean up a spill and you know which material will do the best job, you can thank your friends here at Kids Activities Blog.

Hands On

We have had a lot of  drink spills at our house. That means that each of us scrambles for something to clean up the liquid that is flowing off the kitchen table  and cascading to the floor.

My husband tends to run for the paper towels, my son reaches for the napkins that are kept on a shelf at his eye level,  and I race for a dish towel.  With all of us trying to clean up the spill it seems to take no  time at all, but lately I have been wondering what spill removing item really absorbs the most water.

Kids love hands on learning like this water absorption science activity

Water Absorption

My son and I gathered a wide variety of spill removing items from around the house.  I then I tried to cut them into similar sizes.

We ended up with the following:

  • paper towel
  • napkin
  • sock
  • foam backed letter
  • dish towel
  • sponge

We then put a cup of water into the large section of one of my son’s bento lunch containers. The container was called the “Water Absorbing Test Area” for this experiment. The dry testing materials were put in the left hand side of the container and the wet ones were placed in the right hand side once they had been used.

Hands on water absorption activity for kids

Kid Science

My son placed each material into the water and then the testing material was squeezed out over a silicone muffin cup.  We learned that you have to hold the material up over the cup rather than put the item in the cup while squeezing it.  We ended up with water everywhere and had to redo the test with that material once it had dried.

Kid Science Projects make great learning activities for kids

Water Experiment

After emptying the water the material contained into the cup, I moved the cup unto a paper labeled with the names of each of the materials.  When we had tested out each materials, I had him look at the amount of water in each cup. We then discussed why some items like the sponge did a great job and the foam letter absorbed very little water.

Kids Activities: Learning with a Water Experiment

My son decided that it had to due with the size of holes each object has. I think that was a very wise insight.

More Kids Activities

What a great hands on activity that even us parents can benefit from.   Water absorption and other water experiments are always a big hit with kids.  For more watery kids activities, dive into these great ideas:


  • {Kid Science} Water Displacement Experiment


Deirdre About Deirdre

Deirdre Smith writes/owns JDaniel4’s Mom. After twenty years as a elementary school and technology resource teacher in Northern Virginia, she became a stay at home mom in upstate South Carolina. Her blog features ways she and her 5 year old are exploring learning, crafting, creating healthy meals and living life to its fullest. Deirdre can also be found on twitter as @jdaniel4smom and on her blog's FB page. You can also check her out on Google+.

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