Water Sensory Science Experiment

Water Sensory Science Experiment with cotton balls

Water sensory science activity with cotton balls for water absorption! Water absorption is one of our classic science experiments. I have been wanting  to add sensory science experiments to our play time.  On several occasions, I have noticed that he has really enjoyed “figuring out” how or why something happens. I am assuming it is in part due to the novelty of the activity and the reaction we all have to something cool happening! Water sensory play is always fun for kids.


 I made it a two-part water sensory science experiment. He has enjoyed color mixing in the past, and I also saw some ideas for cotton balls to show water absorption.  Here’s our last-minute water sensory science experiment idea to help our afternoon run a little more smoothly.

 Simple Water Sensory Science Experiment Table Set Up


Combining the liquids and pouring them into the bin was good hand-eye coordination and practical life skills practice! Great fine motor skills throughout the whole water sensory science activity!


We started off by mixing colors together.  We were able to do this several times since the food coloring gel didn’t quite mix the first time. This extra mixing time just made it all the more fun. Once all the water was in the bin, he noticed the basket of cotton balls and asked if he could put them in to the water. Of course! I had a pair of scoop tongs, and he used his fingers to put them in the water.





Lots of ways to play with the cotton balls to talk about water absorption!


After a little bit of free play, I showed him how the cotton balls absorbed the water. We took turns filling them up with a eye dropper (fine motor yeah!) and squeezing them out.  We talked about how they fill with water and feel squishy  We also talked about how you can squeeze out a lot of water and then plump them up again. I tossed out the word absorption a few times! We finished up with free play and he filled the beaker with cotton balls.


A simple favorite water sensory science experiment for any time play and learning!

More Water Absorption Sensory Science 

water absorption side barFind more awesome learning resources:

Non food sensory bin fillers “Water density experiment Homemade lego man zip line Why you should make sensory bins


  1. Very sweet – my girls love color mixing but we’ve never added in cotton balls. Anything with baking soda and vinegar is also a hit – especially sandbox volcanoes!

  2. Thanks for the comment! He had a blast. I can’t wait to do the baking soda volcano too. We are going to be doing dinosaurs soon and I have been waiting for that time to break it out!

  3. Great little science experiment! I love the cotton ball addition; it could be fun to see cotton balls of different colors too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. You bet! Can’t wait to see what we come up with for our science study this week!

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