Magic Milk

Last Friday was a rainy day and I was unprepared. Luckily, I pulled out a few activities from Pinterest and this one had the biggest success. It captivated a four-year-old for quite a while; that’s what I call a win. Here is a colorful, almost magic, milk experiment.

What you’ll need: 

– A plate or a bowl
– 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk
– Food Coloring
– Cotton swabs
– Dishwashing liquid

How to?
Pour enough milk to cover the base of the plate. Add a few drops of food coloring. Make sure that you’re placing them in the middle of the plate and rather close to each other.

Dip a cotton swab in dishwashing liquid and let the kids gently touch the surface of the milk. Immediately, the chemical reaction will force the colors to move away from the cotton swab and mix. It is captivating to look at and a great opportunity to talk with your kids about colors and how they form.

This activity has a never-ending stream of unique design that your little ones will love to create.

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The science behind it:
The dyes are placed on the surface of the milk, called surface tension. The milk molecules on the surface have an energy that is strong enough to keep them together and create a wall. The fat in found in milk makes this “wall” more resistant than other liquids like water, for example, in which colors mix right away.

The dishwashing liquid reduces this surface tension and therefore breaks this wall. It allows food coloring drops to mix.


I hope that you’ll give this fun experiment a try and I guarantee that your little scientists will love it. 

– Marie x


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