Kids are fascinated when they see common substances do uncommon things. This milk fireworks experiment does just that.
All you need to complete this experiment is milk and food coloring. You probably have both of them in your kitchen right now.
Milk Fireworks Experiment
- Baking dish (9×9 pan works best)
- Food coloring
- Dish soap
Make sure you use the standard food coloring instead of the gel food coloring. The gel will not drop into the dish.
Pour the milk into the baking dish. You want to make sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered about 1/2 an inch.
Have the kids put a small amount of food coloring into the milk dish. Then dilute the food coloring and add the diluted mixture to the dish.
Kids are intrigued by the shades of colors that result when different dilutions of food coloring are dropped into a shallow pan of milk.
This is a good way to teach dilution and concentration without the kids even knowing it.
Dropping different colors of food coloring in a shallow pan of milk and then rippling the water or dropping in dish detergent makes the colors spread and explode. My kids call it “milk fireworks.”
I allow the kids to experiment with stirring, splashing, and dropping the food coloring from different heights to see what effects they have on the pattern of the colors.
This project is also good to teach color mixing. Does yellow and blue really make green?
Between each milk fireworks experiment you’ll want to change out the milk, or mix up the milk and food coloring. (Changing the milk works best)
If you have countertops that are easily stained (marble, formica) use an inexpensive plastic tablecloth under your baking dish.
The kids will love getting to “play” with food coloring and they’ll be learning at the same time.