Swirling Milk Science Experiment : In this post, we are going to discuss one of the easiest and my most preferred science experiment that you can try at home (just with products from your home). You know the best part – it just takes few minutes.
What you need to do this Milk Swirl Experiment?
- Milk (whole milk or full fat milk preferred. You can do this with skim milk as well – just that the swirling motion will be less due to less fat content).
- Food colors (Blue, red, orange or any other color you may like. Choose at least two different contradicting colors).
- Dish Washing Liquid
- Plate or Bowl
- Pipette (optional)
- Pepper (optional)
- Pipe Cleaners (optional – you can also try out with cotton thread).
Steps to Create Swirling Motion1. Pour the milk from your container to the plate or bowl. Don’t waste too much of milk, just get it enough to dip your finger say up to 1 cm.
2. Add few drops of different food colors. We just added two or three drops of Blue, Red, Orange and Yellow food colors each. Too much of food colors will spoil the experiment. So add just few drops.
3. Now add powdered pepper (this is an optional step). We wanted to make the motion more visible before adding too many colors to milk. Pepper powder would easily show the swirling motion in the milk. This step makes the milk solution ready for the experiment.
4. If you are fine to make your kid touch the dish washing liquid by hand, you can try it with bare hands. Otherwise use a paint brush or cotton buds.
Dip your hand (paint brush/cotton bud) in the dishwashing liquid and try to touch the milk surface lightly. Hurray! The pepper particles will move away from your hand. Then, try touching the place where you dropped food colors, it would create a swirling motion and you can see the colors flowing out of your hand.
Pritika immersed the finger to create color motion 🙂
The result was incredible to look and will amaze kids. My younger one started jumping on seeing these swirls while my elder one started screaming “What’s happening mom?”4. Tisha (my younger one) was persistent in using her favorite “Bubble Wand” to drop the dish wash liquid, so I allowed her to try it with it. She started making her own version of Milk Swirl Experiment.
5. Finally, we wanted to try creating a color jet stream in milk. This was Pritika’s ( elder one) idea based on a youtube video. She immersed a piece of pipe cleaner (about half the size of the plate) in dish wash liquid and dropped the pipe cleaner in the milk. Surprisingly it created a stream of colors and looked like a small river of colors flowing from the pipe cleaner.
Check glimpse of our whole Milk Swirl Experiment in the video below:
As a mom, I was more than happy that my kids enjoyed this science experiment at home. I allowed them to play with it too their heart’s content for about an hour. They in turn created milk swirls in so many different color combinations.
Now it is time to understand the science behind this activity.
Try this experiment and with water. Does soap gets mixed in water or creates a swirl?
Let us know how did this science activity go with your kids?
Reference & Resources:Color Changing Liquid – Lesson Plan from University of Nebraska
Milk Rainbow experiment – Detailed document by The Chemist
Get free Worksheet for Magic Milk Experiment from TeachersPayTeachers. We are making our own version of this worksheet with added features, we will make it available soon for our beloved readers.