FLUID FILLED FUN
Below are some favorite water toys & liquid novelties that compliment our re-imagined colordripper and may satisfy your appetite for moving color. These appeal to all ages, and in particular people on the autism spectrum who use them for "stimming", in addition to those with sensory processing differences who can use a little visual stimulation.
Links on this page may not work on mobile devices. You can find most of these items on Amazon or Ebay. If you order through the affiliate links below we receive a small kickback of about 5%.
SPIRAL LIQUID TIMERS
This simple toy features one color that drips into a clear bath. The colored fluid is heavier than the surrounding transparent solution, so the drips naturally glide down. Designs include corkscrew staircases as shown here, as well as ones with steps allowing the drops to dribble. Gravity does all of the work here and there is little interaction required making it suitable for younger children. Steady movement makes them perfect for time keeping.
Similar to grains of sand falling in an hour glass, this timer features a single color displacing into a clear fluid. It can be used to track activities, such as motivating children to brush their teeth for an extended period. It also has a soothing effect for people who fidget or may feel hyperactive. The length of dripping duration depends on the amount of fluid & viscosity, which varies by the design and size.
Moving colors are commonly used as one component of therapy for people with sensory differences, and can also help with motor skills & visual coordination.
OOZE GEL TUBES
Extremely viscous slime seeps through from one top of the container to the bottom, separated by a small passageway which restricts the flow. Unlike basic liquid timers which drip fast, these can last 10 minutes or more and have inconsistent movement. They're a hit with young kids and can be used to help all ages relax, or to take a mental time out when overwehlmed by our modern world. These are widely available, albeit in a limited range of colors.
LIQUID WAVE PAPERWEIGHTS
Cute ocean-faring animals encased in a block of acrylic allow you to keep papers from flying about or can add a splash of color to a small nook or cranny. View hydrodynamics in action as waves are created by the movement of this learning toy. The animals are often weighted, allowing them to float upright. Typically these feature one color (cerulean blue) in a clear oil to imitate natural ocean waves. Popular designs include:
... and more
WATER WHEEL TIMERSThe force of falling drops causes the wheels in these guys to spin fast. The most prevelant style of water wheels features two sprockets, while the style shown here is a hybrid that also features steps at the bottom. When all of the color has fallen into the reservoir, it can be turned over to repeat the action.
A predictable pattern and quick dripping action makes them a favorite for use as visual timers in the classroom or as a fun segue between tasks.
Miniature beads with the the appearance of fine sand erupt when this item is shaken, or flipped over. It includes a base that it rests on, making it a colorful art deco piece and a hit with children. Available in only one color — typically red to simulate lava — they function in much the same way as snow globes and this design is also popular in lamps. Like 'old faithful', it always behaves the same way with little variation and never runs out of steam, which cam be calming.
Keep one on your desk to give yourself small breaks throughout the day and you can improve your focus and output.
HAND BOILER METERS
This scientific novelty toy demonstrates the properties of liquid equilibrium, where a temperature difference is required between the bottom & lower portions in order for the colored fluid to move. The liquid does not actually boil, rather it is vaporizing. Body heat from your hand is exchanged through the glass causing the process to initiate. Conversely, these can also be put into ice water to produce the reverse effect.
This is affectionately known as the "love meter" due to it's shape, and allows couples to compete by holding one end each to see whose desire is stronger.
NOTE: made of glass & not recommended for children.
THE DRINKING "INSATIABLE" BIRD
This amusing contraption works on the same principles as the bubble meters above by exploiting a disparity in temperature. Two spheres are separated by a glass tube, and it's important to note that all of the oxygen has been removed during the manufacturing process.
When the felt beak is submerged in water, it lowers the temperature of the glass, causing the vapor to condense. This pushes liquid up towards the beak, thereby allowing gravity to flip the now top-heavy bird over and swing it into motion. After it finds equilibrium it will dip back into the glass of water, repeating the process as long as the difference in temperature remains.
Because this demonstrates several laws of physics it is often used in chemistry education, and is a popular gift for science & engineering minded people for that reason.
NOTE: this is made of glass & should be handled delicately.
SAND & WATER PICTURES
Flip this frame over and you'll be treated with a captivating performance as the sand particles create dunes and patterned desert landscapes before your eyes. With each turn you'll be presented with a completely different scene as unique and interesting as the last. This is perfect for people with sensory differences and is a charming conversation piece that people can't help but touch & pickup.
Add a splash of color to your bookcase or small shelf, or keep a moving sand sculptures on your desk as a stress reliever.
LAVA "ASTRO GLOBE" LAMPS
No proper list would be complete without this psychedelic remnant of our childhood. Invented in 1963, this spellbinding toy helped define the 60's hippie era (even though sales of them in the 1990's surpassed any other decade by a long shot). Today they are sold in every size & color.
The mechanics are quite simple. A mix of oil & wax heat up inside of the glass bottle and rise to the top. A tapered design allows the globs to move more freely. As they begin to cool, the wax mixture becomes more dense than the surrounding liquids allowing it to float back to the bottom, repeating the process again. You'll notice the bottom features a metal ring which breaks the surface tension and distributes the heat evenly.
FLOATING DRIP TIMERS
The shells that our colordrippers are made from are also produced by the same factory as basic drip timers. Compared to our design which can move for several minutes and feature 4 base colors, these are built to drip for approximately 60 seconds and only have 2 base colors. You can find them in a few popular combinations:
pink / blue
green / blue
yellow / green
orange / yellow
purple / black
Inspired by all of the above, we have introduced a new liquid motion design which has been re-imagined for the 21st century. Featuring four colors (two per side), these are true kaleidoscopes which feature overlapping layers of color. You'll be captivated watching them dance and frolic.
They can be enjoyed as traditional timers, or can involve a more playful style by rotating them in your hands to manipulate the flow pattern and watch the physics at play. Shake it energetically and you'll create a temporary bubble emulsion.
Each of our drippers is hand filled in Virginia with slightly different formulas using the highest quality common chemicals. Every one is unique. Some drip at a brisk pace, while other drippers move much like a sloth. Unlike traditional drip timers which only showcase inks sinking below, many of ours display liquids moving up while also simultaneously moving down.
Color suggestions are welcome on online orders of 6 or less (allow time for fabrication).