Science experiments help us grow. Through experimenting and exploring we are able to ask questions, make assumptions, and then seek solutions. We are able to learn more about the world around us.
This Color Changing Milk Science Experiment is a fun activity to do with kids of all ages.
(Contains affiliate links.)
Color Changing Milk Science Experiment
What you need for this experiment:
- Shallow pan or bowl
- Liquid food coloring
- Liquid dish soap
Pour milk a pie pan or glass bowl until it covers the bottom. Add drops of liquid food coloring to create a colorful pattern.
Dip a Q-tip in dish soap and place it in the center of the dish. Watch as the food coloring moves away!
Our Question: What do we think will happen when we add dish soap (a surfactant – i.e. it cuts grease and fats) to the milk? How can we watch the surface tension “break”?
Scientific background: Surface tension is an interesting concept, like molecules like to stick together. Milk has surface tension, just like water, but unlike water, it is high in fat and is solid colored. As the dye is less dense, it does not mix into the milk unless stirred. It remains separate. Dish soap breaks down the fat of the milk and decreases the surface tension in milk.
Tips: If you have gel dyes add a few drops of water onto them to help them be absorbed more quickly.
What kinds of questions can we ask?
- What did the milk look like when you added the dye? Why do you think that is?
- What happens when you add the soap? Why did the “dyed milk” disappear? Where do you think it went?
- Why did the colors return after the experiment has been running for a while?
We Have More Science Fun We Think You’ll Enjoy:
- Teach your child to love science at a young age with these science lessons for preschoolers.
- Looking for even more preschool science experiments? We have them!
- Science doesn’t have to be overly complex with these simple and easy experiments.
- We have quite a few STEM challenges your kids will love. Try out this airplane challenge!
- Love space? We have plenty of Mars rover information for kids.
- Need a science fair project quick? Check out this solar system project!
- You can also make this aluminum foil moon craft.
- Reach for the stars with this flashlight solar system activity.
- This red cup challenge is another awesome STEM activity.
- These outer space science activities are out of this world!
- Learn about bases and acids with this tie dye milk experiment.
- Let us show you how to make a simple maze!
- Have left over bar soap? Try this ivory soap experiment!
- This magnetic slime will blow your mind! It is so cool!
- Looking for older science fair projects? We’ve got plenty of high school science fair projects for you to choose from.
- Looking for more science activities for kids?