Good morning. A lovey hands on science and art activity today! It's great for smaller kids but actually in my experience, much older children also really enjoy it too.
You will need: milk (any type!), a shallow tray, washing up liquid, a pipette or something to drip food colouring, 3 or more different food colourings, a cotton wool bud (or a paint brush would work well). If you want to make marbled paper you can use any paper to dip, but watercolour paper works amazingly well! If you do this, you will need a paper drying area set up too.
Cut your watercolor paper to a size that easily fits within your tray (we used small squares). Place the stack of paper near your tray because once you start to see swirling colours you need to use the paper quickly. Pour a thin layer of milk into the bottom of your tray. Using the pipette, add in a few (start with about 3) drops of food colouring scattered around the milk. Now for the fun bit!
Dip the end of the cotton wool bud into the washing up liquid. Tap the excess off the end and touch it into a dot of the food colouring, in the milk. The soap and food coloring will now start interacting with each other and the colours will swirl around. Little and often works best!
This is exciting enough on its own, but if you want to extend it, or you have older children, you can make marbled paper. To do this, before the colours get too mixed together take one sheet of your paper and lay it on top of the milk mixture. Press down. Gently lift it, set aside to dry, and continue with additional sheets.
Leave to dry completely. We were amazed with the results! Enjoy!
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy some of our Science activities: chromatography, salt patterns, the ice challenge or nature egg dying.
[…] You might want to follow this up with this video about surface tension (Note, it is a pond skater eating another animal!). If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy our other surface tension experiment - milk marbling. […]
[…] enjoyed this, you might enjoy some of our other surface tension experiments: Bug walking on water, milk marbling, repelling water. Or take a look at the 6 pages of fun activities for you to do at home and in the […]