This Color Spray science/art experiment was so simple that my preschoolers were able to replicate it at home easily, and so enthralling that it kept my text-addicted high school students away from their phones for a whole hour! So, through experience, we know this color spray project is great for kids of all ages. Whether they’re older children or younger children, they can all benefit and enjoy this fun color spray activity. The best part is, this budget-friendly color spray activity can be done at home or in the classroom.

color spray science activity- child using a spray bottle to spray rubbing alcohol on a tshirt where colors run- kids activities blog
Let’s learn and make colorful t-shirts all at once!

Color Spray Science Project

I am super excited, I love my preschooler – but I have a houseful of them – and this year I am taking a break from them once a week and teaching a Art through Science course with our local home-school Co-op.   All of my students are potty-trained, they all can read… and they all have phones and most have taken their PSATs.

I love high-school kids!

Anyhoo, this was a science experiment I first did with them.   We attempted to replicate Kandinsky’s Circles while we watched the diffusion of color through alcohol.

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Related: 50 Cool Science Fair Project Ideas for Elementary to High School Kids & Scientific Method Worksheets (Broken Into Steps) for Kids

Fun way to color a shirt {Preschool craft} that combines science and art
Look how cute this color spray t-shirt is.


Supplies you will need For This Fun Color Spray Science Activity:

How to Create Color Spray Art – through Science:

 

Step 1

Color circles and geometric shapes on your T-shirt with the permanent markers.  

Notes:

We tried to use contrasting colors in concentric rings, much like Kandinsky’s art of circles. We love Kandinsky!

Step 2

After you have your T-Shirt filled with colorful circles, fill your spray bottle with Rubbing alcohol and lightly mist the entire shirt, then squirt heavily in the middle of each circle.

Step 3 

Watch the alcohol spread the color through the fibers of the T-shirt fabric. Fascinating.

Dissolving Ink and Color Spray Science activity- steps 1-3: Color on the t-shirt with markers, spray with rubbing alcohol, let dry- kids activities blog
The steps to make a color spray t-shirt are so easy!

Younger Kids Need Supervision While Doing This Color Spray Science Activity

If you are working with preschoolers, you will want to supervise them with the rubbing alcohol spray. They will feel so “big” as they see the product of their doodles explode with color!

Fun way to color a shirt {Preschool craft}

Our Experience With This Super Fun Color Spray Science Project

We did wash our shirts afterwards and the color faded slightly, so be sure to wash it with dark colored clothes the first time or two that your art shirt is laundered.   After the colors have set they will last for awhile!

Our shirt is still loved by my little artist and it has been several weeks since we created it together.

Did you know? We wrote a science book!

Our book, The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments, features tons of awesome activities just like this one that will keep your kids engaged while they learn. How awesome is that?!

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments

Color Spray Science Project

Fun way to color a shirt {Preschool craft} that combines science and art

This color spray project not only let's your child explore art, but science as well. And they can make their very own color spray t-shirt! How fun!

Materials

  • Clean white T-Shirt – preshrunk
  • Collection of Permanent Markers
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Spray Bottle

Instructions

  1. Color circles and geometric shapes on your T-shirt with the permanent markers.  
  2. After you have your T-Shirt filled with colorful circles, fill your spray bottle with Rubbing alcohol and lightly mist the entire shirt, then squirt heavily in the middle of each circle.
  3. Watch the alcohol spread the color through the fibers of the T-shirt fabric. Fascinating.

More Science Fun From Kids Activities Blog

How did your color spray science activity turn out? Did your kids have fun?



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30 Comments

  1. This looks like something my daughter could get right into. My daughter + permanent markers = EEK lol

  2. you want to set the colors by using the dryer on high for 15 mintues or an iron on high for 5 minutes. On high is the key work. All of the shirts we have done have not faded much. Also we wash with darks all the time for the shirts.

  3. I used Sharpies and put the shirts in the dryer for an hour, hoping to have the colors set. On another shirt I used the dryer AND an iron. Unfortunately they all faded so badly that they can’t be used. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep the colors set? I was expecting SOME fading but not like this!
    I’ve tried different material blends and different lengths and heats to try and set the ink.

  4. This is really a cool idea that would be fun and educational!

    Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again this week. (Sorry for the late comment!)

  5. This is such a fun activity and the results are just fantastic! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Tots. It was chosen as our pick of the week to be featured on all 3 hosts blogs. {Learn with Play at Home, Rainy Day Mum and One Perfect Day} Can’t wait to give it a try!

  6. This is fantastic! You ladies are so creative!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  7. I think my year old would tell me “You’re the best Mom!” if I try that with her, I think my 3 year old would enjoy it too. Will be adding this one to my list of things to do!

  8. such a fun craft my kids would love to make these. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  9. My son did this in his 5th grade science class in 02!!!!!They used a white cotton t_-shirt they rubber band sections to a Styrofoam cup for there designs then they used eyedroppers for alcohol, there shirts turned out great and wash up great!!!! Great craft for kids!!!!!

    1. I think the shirt we used was cotton, but as long as there is a lot of cotton in it, it should work. Obviously, the spread will be different with different materials…which could be a fun experiment in itself.