Thursday, January 13, 2011

When Art Meets Science

I just love when art meets science. Last month we got to introduce our kids to one of my favorite artsy science experiments.

It's fun and fairly simple. You will need:
  • A shallow pan or bowl
  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
Fill the pan with milk. Drop several drops of different colored food coloring in different places in the milk. Then, squirt a small drop of dish soap in the middle of the dish soap. The colors will start to swirl as the dish soap reacts to the protein in the milk.  Like this...

Isn't that cool!  Of course, if you want to keep this "artwork" to hang on your wall then you'll have to take some pictures like we did.  I love how this also caught the reflection of the lights above our table.  Pretty cool!

Use red, yellow, and blue food coloring to help teach younger children what colors are created when those colors mix.

I found this description of what causes the colors to swirl on
"The detergent lowers the surface tension of the liquid so that the food coloring is free to flow throughout the milk. The detergent reacts with the protein in the milk, altering the shape of those molecules and setting them in motion."
You can read the whole description at the bottom of's Magic Colored Milk Science Project Page.

This post is participating in the following memes, where you can find
a lot of other creative ideas for kids!


  1. I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation.

  2. Oh wow! That sounds lovely and looks so pretty AND it is science! What more can you want!

    I would LOVE for you to join us at Kids Get Crafty (every Wednesday on Red Ted Art) - current link up

    Hope to see you there!


  3. We need to get back to our science projects - thanks for a great idea!

  4. Very cool! And nice photos too.

  5. Fun and educational, can't beat that.

    Thanks for stopping by my spot, :)

  6. Gorgeous! My girls would love to try thhis. Thanks for sharing the idea with us. Cathy @ NurtureStore's Play Academy :)

  7. That is so cool! I don't think I've seen this before. Thanks for sharing!

  8. We may try this - looks interesting.

  9. Yay! Thanks for stopping by at Kids Get Crafty!


  10. How cool! What a great activity. The picture looks so surreal. I popped over from Play Academy and will be subscribing for sure!

  11. That looks so cool! I love that it requires on-hand ingredients! Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is really neat! I'm looking for ideas for creative activities and this will be a keeper.

    ...visiting from over at Sharing Time.

  13. Very neat! Thanks for leaving the info on the science behind it too! Kerri

  14. What a great activity! Art and science mash-ups are the absolute best :) Looks like your kiddos had a grand time!

    Michelle @ 5MFSN

  15. Hi Gale,

    Thank you for popping in to my world and leaving the sweet comment so I could find your creative world!
    I'm LoVing this post... and the way my imagination works I'd like to see if I can capture the beauty of the colors mixing about in the pan by laying a piece of watercolor on top of the liquid ! It could make a great background effect for a mermaid or a plethora of fun paintings.
    I'm off to the kitchen to experiment !

  16. My kids and I have done this activity a few times. I loved it everytime!