As the year draws to a close and you’re slowly running out of activities to keep the kids occupied over the winter break, here’s a fun and simple experiment you can try at home with items you already have in your cupboard.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- food colouring
- dish soap
- a cotton swab
WHAT TO DO:
- Pour milk into a plate
- Add drops of food colouring to the milk
- Dip a cotton swab into dish soap and touch the tip to the colours in your milk
- Watch the magic 🙂
HOW IT WORKS- THE SCIENCE:
Milk is mostly made up of water but it also contains other compounds, the most importantly for this experiment is tiny droplets of fat suspended in the solution.
The dish soap in your kitchen has bipolar characteristics- it has water-loving (hydrophilic) components, as well as water-repelling (hydrophobic) components; while the hydrophilic components dissolve in water the hydrophobic parts attach to the fat droplets in the milk. As the fat molecules race to join together, the food colouring molecules get bounced around by the racing fat droplets, creating a neat display for your little scientist to enjoy. This reaction continues until the soap is evenly mixed with the milk and then the magic stops.
Kids love this simple experiment and since the ingredients are already on-hand you can try it again and again (and again!) and watch their little eyes light up as they make “magic milk”. Watch one of our (MANY) runs of this experiment here:
This is our last post of the year so we’d like to take a minute to wish everyone a happy and healthy start to 2016! We’re looking forward to sharing a lot more scientific fun with you in the new year!