Absorbing Experiments – Simple Science

Today we’re looking at materials which absorb water, in particular sponges. Can you make some predictions first based on your knowledge of the materials being used, and can you design a table to record your results? 

What you need:

  • A bowl or tub of water

  • Absorbant materials, such as sponges and wash cloths.

  • Non absorbant materials, such as plastic blocks or pencils.

absorbing experiment


  • Place the sponge in the water first to demonstrate how it absorbs the water. Does a dry sponge absorb better than a wet sponge? Can you hold the wet sponge up in the air without the water escaping?

  • Try the washcloth and show how it does absorb some water, but cannot retain most of it.

  • Place the plastic blocks and other non absorbant materials in the water and see what happens.
absorbing experiment

The Science Bit

Sponges are made of loose fibers with lots of space between them. The holes between the sponge fibers absorb the water, and so the sponge material swells up with water. This stops the water coming out of the sponge when you lift it out of the water. When you squeeze the sponge you are forcing the water out of the holes in the sponge.

A wet sponge will absorb more water than a dry sponge as water molecules are highly attracted to one another.

What items would you use for your absorbing experiment?



Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this! I love finding simple science experiments for my kids and I’ll pin this for later use =)

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  2. I’ve never really thought about this…very interesting! Liking the new look too! x

    ps I did get a bit hungry looking at the picture above of what I thought was roast beef….turns out it’s cinnamon sticks!

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    • Ha ha! the mulled cider was good too though :-)

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  3. My toddler will luv this! Will try over the weekend :0) Thanks for the tip.

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    • Yay, let us know how you get on!

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    • Let us know how you get on!

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  4. Such a simple but clever and effective experiment!

    Thanks for linking to Family Frolics.:)

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  5. So much fun as well. Its good to know the science behind it.

    Post a Reply


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