This particular science activity is lots of fun and a great introduction to those children who haven’t had much experience in observing chemical reactions etc. I had shared this magic milk science experiment a long time ago and it proved particularly popular on my Laughing Kids Learn Facebook page.
Recommended age: 2 years +
(Active supervision is always advised with my activities)
Magic Milk Science Experiment
You will need –
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup milk
- 1 drop of dishwashing liquid
- food colouring
- toothpicks (optional)
This science experiment is simple to set up and quickly gets to the ‘wow factor’ that will bring a smile to your child’s face.
Simply begin by pouring milk onto a plate. You will need to ensure you have enough milk to cover the base of the plate. Add a few drops of food colouring to the milk (see above). This will give you a great opportunity to talk about colours and point out if any of them mix together to form new colours.
Let the magic happen!!
Carefully add one drop of dishwashing liquid to the middle of the milk. Quickly a chemical reaction will occur, which will see the colours begin to spread away from the dishwashing liquid drop and begin mixing and churning the colours.
It’s absolutely amazing and you can observe it continually move and swirl for a decent amount of time! Slowly it mixes together and pushes the colours further away from the dishwashing liquid and having it sink to the base of the plate.
For a bit of fun I decided to give Possum a toothpick. She loved using it to encourage the swirling motion and seeing how they all mixed around each other and created something new to look at.
What is the science behind it, simply put?
Milk is made up of mostly water but it does contain vitamins, minerals, proteins and small droplets of fat. The fat and proteins are super sensitive to changes in the milk and so when the dishwashing liquid is added a chemical reaction occurs. The soap and fat work hard to join together, which causes the movement. When food colouring is added we are able to witness this chemical reaction occurring. See here for more information.
You might like to experiment further by adding an extra drop of soap to see if there is more movement. If you see more movement you’ve discovered that there was still more fat that hadn’t combined with the soap. You might like to continue the process.
This is certainly a science activity your child will love to do and ask to have you repeat over and over again and again, and you’ll do it because it’s so fun to watch! Check out Coffee Cups and Crayons who have also done this experiment here.
Would your child love observing this science experiment?
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