Colors tend to attract a lot of children’s attention. The little ones are attracted to colorful objects and drawings, and learn the names of colors along with their first words very early on. At school, learning to mix and form new colors is a fun activity kids love to be a part of!
To encourage these discoveries and make the child learn even more, we have a tip for experimenting with colors that is a hit with the little ones: Psychedelic Milk.
Psychedelic Milk: Magic or Science?
This color experiment is very simple to do and can be used to teach different concepts depending on the child’s age.
The experiment consists of pouring a few drops of food coloring into a plate of milk and then adding detergent. With that mixture, all the colors start to blend. It looks like magic!
The little ones will be delighted to see new colors forming right before their eyes. They will ask you to do it again and again… It’s super fun to see the colors mix in this magical dance. Use this fun activity to teach them more about science!
For little ones who are already in elementary school, it is possible to explain that the crazy effect caused by the detergent happens due to the breakdown of the so-called “surface tension”. Surface tension is a phenomenon that occurs in liquids, with the formation of a thin membrane on the surface. In this case, the surface tension of the milk prevents mixing with the food coloring, but the detergent destroys it and so the mixing takes place on its own.
For older children and teenagers, it is possible to further explain the experiment, which has everything to do with the polarity of the molecules in the milk and detergent. Learn more about it here.
If your child is very young, you can also use the experience to learn about mixing primary colors. Isn’t it amazing how many things you can teach your children with a simple experiment? Regardless of age, it will certainly be a fun way to learn new things!
- Food coloring (at least two colors)
- Cotton swabs
Step by step:
- Pour the milk into a plate
- Add one or two drops of each color to the milk, without mixing them
- Dip the cotton swab in the detergent and touch it to the spots where you placed the food coloring
- See the colors blend magically!