Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Magic Milk

Another snow day!! Which means another day kiddo doesn't have school!! Which means more creative indoor activities!! 

This boy loves science! Almost everyday we just take a few ingredients from the cupboard and fridge and mix up "potions". Sometimes we bake, microwave, or freeze them. He loves doing it! 

Today I thought we would do a little bit more structured experiment. We call it "Magic Milk". Here is everything you will need.

Milk (we used three different kinds but you really only need one and you can use any kind) dish soap, food coloring, Qtips, bowls (one for each kind of milk).
Oh, and of course you need at least one cute kiddo :)

Start by pouring the milk into the little dishes. If using more than one try to get kinds with different fat content (skim, 2%, half and half)
We made observations about the different kinds. Which ones are thicker and whiter. 

Then put a drop of food coloring in the middle of the milk. It just kinda sits there...
Here comes the fun part!! Dip the Qtip in the soap and poke the food coloring.
It's like the food coloring runs away from the soap! You will notice how much or little the color spreads in the different milks. 
It doesn't spread as far or as fast in the milk with more fat. You can add more food coloring and mix colors.
What color will red and blue make??Another lesson learned! 
You can get real educational with it all and give the full explanation of why this craziness happens. Skip over this next part if you don't really care. 


Milk is mostly water but it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and tiny droplets of fat suspended in solution. Fats and proteins are sensitive to changes in the surrounding solution (the milk).

The secret of the bursting colors is the chemistry of that tiny drop of soap. Dish soap, because of its bipolar characteristics (nonpolar on one end and polar on the other), weakens the chemical bonds that hold the proteins and fats in solution. The soap's polar, or hydrophilic (water-loving), end dissolves in water, and itshydrophobic (water-fearing) end attaches to a fat globule in the milk. This is when the fun begins.

The molecules of fat bend, roll, twist, and contort in all directions as the soap molecules race around to join up with the fat molecules. During all of this fat molecule gymnastics, the food coloring molecules are bumped and shoved everywhere, providing an easy way to observe all the invisible activity. As the soap becomes evenly mixed with the milk, the action slows down and eventually stops. 

Try adding another drop of soap to see if there's any more movement. If so, you discovered there are still more fat molecules that haven't found a partner at the big color dance. Add another drop of soap to start the process again.

So there you have it!! Interesting stuff! Not gonna lie... We kinda skipped the whole explanation part... We just had fun playing around with it and mixing colors :) 


  1. Love science too! Didn't you receive a science kit for Christmas one year when you were a kiddo?

    1. Pretty sure I did have a science phase. I remember a sweet magic kit too :)

  2. Aww, this is so cool! You are seriously the best nanny ever. You are always doing fun stuff!

    1. Thanks!! It is getting hard to come up with things indoors! Sooo ready for Spring :)