Activities & Days Out / 6 January, 2020 / My Baba

Magic Milk Experiment

I came across this amazing magic milk experiment on Pinterest quite a while ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to do it with my little ones.  Well the other day presented just that opportunity; it had poured with rain ALL morning so to add some excitement I set up it up.  It only requires 4 things that you will be to find in your kitchen.

Make sure you follow my science board on Pinterest for more ideas.  Don’t forget to save the Pin for later.

You will need:

  • Milk
  • Food colouring
  • Bowl
  • Washing up liquid
  • Ear bud

Pour some of the milk into the bowl; it only needs to cover the bottom of it. Make sure you don’t use fat free milk as the experiment wont work.

Add your food colouring.

Then add a couple of drops of the washing up liquid and watch the amazing reaction take place.  I repeated the experiment a few days later and found that if you dip an ear bud into the washing up liquid and then you can keep the reaction going for a lot longer.

The reaction when you pour in the washing up liquid is very fast, and you can’t repeat it

Magic Milk Experiment

Using an ear bud dipped in the washing up liquid produce a much slower and prettier reaction

It makes some beautiful patterns

It makes some beautiful patterns

The science behind it:

The milk is made up of lots of different molecules like protein, fat, sugar, vitamins and minerals.  When the washing up liquid is added to the milk it does a number of things.  Firstly it lowers the surface tension, which allows the food colouring to move freely around.  Secondly the soap reacts to the protein molecules by changing their shape and causing them to move around.  Finally the soap and the fat try to bond together (which is how you break down the fat on the dirty dishes), as this happens they also begin to move around.  The food colouring just allows you to see this reaction-taking place.

magic milk experiment

This would be a useful explanation for older children, but for my little ones they thought it was pure magic and wanted to do the experiment over and over again.  I thought they may only wanted to do it one or two times, but 30 minutes later we were still going with our experiment.  I think I may have to add the activity to my arsenal for when they have run out of things to do on play dates.

magic milk experiment

A Halloween coloured one

Pin for later:

Magic Milk Experiment. A super cool science experiment for children of all ages.

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