This week in the Saleta de Creació, we have practiced the technique of Chromatography that has to do with colors and separation of colors .

In the Saleta de Creació we bet on a way of teaching that provides the child with tools that can be extrapolated to other fields.

From our point of view, trial-error technique is a good way to learn. A fun and relaxed experience helps us understand more things than theory.


So far, we have always used and mixed the 3 Primary Colors  Red, Blue, Yellow – to make any color. With the mixtures we have made, we use them in our paintings.

Thanks to this technique, today we have done the reverse process , that is, we have started with Secondary Colors – Orange, Lilac, etc – or Tertiary – Marrons, grays, earths, etc  and we have decomposed them in an almost magical way !!!

What is Chromatography?

The Royal Spanish Academy defines   Chromatography as:

Chemical analysis method for the separation of the components of a mixture by distribution between two phases, one stationary and the other mobile.

Simplifying means that we can separate the colors thanks to a paper and a liquid .

How is it done?

It is very simple!

The first thing you should do is prepare the material ????

Necessary material:

 Coffee filters , you will find them in any supermarket. They have to be white.

-a transparent container that is not too tall, such as a small plastic cup


 colored markers , not of primary colors (red , blue or yellow) or fluorescent colors.






First, put cotton in the plastic cup and pour some water so that the cotton is only damp. Check that there is no water above the cotton.

Then, take the coffee filters and cut the shape you like, you can make circles, long strips, shapes of raindrops, etc. Choose what you like.

When you have the cuts, paint on the base with markers of secondary or tertiary colors.

Try first to put only one color and then you can experiment with several on the same strip. If you put several colors, leave a wide space between them.

Finally, you just have to put the strip in the plastic cup. The strip should be in contact with the wet cotton so that the colors can be separated. Hold the filter with a clip so that it does not fall.

When the coffee filter comes in contact with the cotton, you will see how the colors are separated . Some go faster than others.


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For example, you will see how the lila is divided into blue and pink; and how green is divided into blue and yellow. Try to put a brown, a gray or a black … to see what happens?

Why does it happen?

When you put some colored pigments in contact with liquid, the pigments separate because they have different weights.

The lightest climb faster than the heavier ones.

If you want you can aim the lighter and heavier colors … 🙂



To finish using the strips you can do some activity. We propose a collage .

Use these colorful papers to create a drawing that you like. Since you have strips of colors you can use to make a collage and put the colors you have obtained.

Here we leave some collage of children. Most of them have finished with colored pencils or markers.

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There are very original designs !! In some drawings we have added scraps of colors from other activities and it has been so nice !

If you have any other idea or want to send us your drawings, we’ll hang them!

If you have any doubts, please contact us!

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