Magic milk experiment {playful learning}

This is a really simple toddler science experiment which I tried with Rosalie a few weeks ago. She is nearly three, but you could easily do this with younger ones as it’s really quick to set up and uses everyday household items.

magic milk experiment

What you need

Full fat milk

Shallow dish

Food colouring (we used Wilton colour pastes – these are brilliant and give vibrant colour to playdough too)

Washing-up liquid

Several small dishes (ours are the plastic bowls from Ikea)

Cotton buds or paintbrush

magic milk experiment

The experiment

Pour milk into your shallow dish, to a depth of about 1cm.

Dot the milk with food colouring. I mixed up several colours of the Wilton pastes with a little water.

Get your toddler to dip a cotton bud or paintbrush into the washing-up liquid and put it into the milk.

Watch and see what happens when the fat in the milk reacts with the soap…

Things to look out for

Notice how the washing-up liquid repels the milk, which you see as soon as the washing-up liquid touches the milk.

Then you can see the colours dancing and swirling away!

The food colouring isn’t part of the science, but it does allow us to see what’s going on, and looks very cool! You can also use this experiment as a conversation starter around colour mixing.

magic milk experiment

To find out a little bit more about the science behind this experiment, take a look at

Rosalie – 34 months


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