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Colour Changing Milk Experiment

Colour Changing Milk Experiment - Science Fun for Kids by Learning 4 Kids

Watch the magic happen with this Colour Changing Milk Experiment by mixing milk, food colouring and dish soap.

The kids will want to do this experiment over and over again, it is just so fascinating to watch the swirling effects of colour.

What you will need?

how to do colour changing experiment by learning 4 kids

You will need milk (near use by date), shallow dish, food colouring, cotton buds (Q-tips) and dish soap.

Step 1-3 

colour changing milk experiment - science activities for kids

1.  Pour some milk into the shallow dish.

2.  Add approximately 5-6 drops of food colouring.

3.  Prepare the liquid dish soap in a small bowl, adding a small amount of water and mix with the end of the cotton bud.

Step 4 

Science experiments for kids - colour changing milk experiment

4.  Place the soap soaked cotton bud into the centre of the of the milk dish.

This photo was taken just after we placed the soap soaked cotton bud into the centre of the milk. It demonstrates how the coloured food dye disperses outwards to the side of the plate.

Let’s Play

Colour changing science experiment for kids

The food colouring begins to swirl and move around the plate once the dish soap soaked cotton bud is added. It appears to work like magic and is fascinating to watch as the many shades of colours start forming, combining and also separating leaving the bright white of the milk.

Some Ideas:

  • Extend the learning by experimenting with different types of milk, such as soy milk, coconut milk, chocolate milk or butte milk.
  • Learn about mixing colours – add only red and blue food colouring to make purple, yellow and blue to make green and red and yellow to make orange. The swirling effect mixes the colours together making a new colour.
  • Experiment with full cream milk and skim milk. Are the results the same or are they different?

Let’s Learn – What is happening?

milk and colours science experiment for kids using dish soap

Milk is mainly made of water and the other big ingredient is usually fat (not all milk has the same amount of fat). The dish soap bonds with the fat in the milk. This bond is so strong that the water and food colouring are pushed out. The swirling effect is everything else moving around to make room for the dish soap and fat bond.

Learning Opportunities

Science experiment - colour changing milk with dish soap
  • Language development: Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking: predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration

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Picture of Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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