What I love about this Swirling Milk (or magic milk) experiment is that it takes only minutes to set up, and it uses everyday items that you probably already have at home. It’s a fun and easy experiment for toddlers and preschoolers, and you can introduce colour mixing concepts to extend it for school kids.
To do the Swirling Milk experiment, you need:
- full cream milk
- dishwashing liquid (washing-up liquid or dish soap)
- food colouring
- shallow bowl
- small bowl
- paint brush (optional)
- pipettes (optional)
What to do1. Pour a small amount of dishwashing liquid into the small bowl. Pour milk into a larger shallow bowl, until about 1cm deep.
2. Add small drops of food colouring to the milk.
This is easier if you have pipettes or food colouring with droppers – that way kids can help. It’s fun and great for fine motor skills. 🙂
3. Dab a drop of dishwashing liquid to the colourful areas of the milk, and watch the milk swirl!
We used paint brushes to lightly dab on a drop of dishwashing liquid.
Look for two reactions. The first is the instantaneous repelling of the milk (and food colouring) away from where the dishwashing liquid drop initially touched. It’s like a growing white circle with a circumference of colour!
The second reaction is a beautiful swirling motion that you can see a few moments later. It looks like the milk and colours are dancing.
If your milk stops swirling, try adding another touch of dishwashing liquid. You’ll probably be able to start the reaction all over again.
The photos don’t do this experiment justice. The milk is constantly moving, creating new swirls and colour combinations. It’s really pretty!