Milk Art Surprise

Good afternoon scientist! Want to make your little scientist squeal with delight? Then this is the investigation to for you. Milk Art Surprise will fascinate your little scientist. Help them with this fun merger of art and science.

MaterialsMilk Art Surprise (1)

Dinner Plate

Whole Milk

Cotton Swab

Dish Soap

Small Container (For dish soap)

Food Coloring (Gloves if worried about staining)

Recommended: Waterproof Shirt or Apron


  1. Place a small amount of dish soap into a small container.
  2. Pour milk into the dinner plate about 2/3 of the way up.
  3. Add one drop of food coloring of each of your chosen colors towards the center of the milk on the plate. (Do not overlap colors, but get them near each other)
  4. Have your little scientist dip one end of the cotton swab into the dish soap.Milk Art Surprise (6)
  5. Using the tip of the cotton swab covered in dish soap have your little scientist poke the center of the food coloring drops and be amazed.Milk Art Surprise (8)
  6. Enjoy playing with your milk art until it no longer reacts.Milk Art Surprise (16)

Talking Points

This experiment works because dish soap has a hydrophilic part (water loving) and hydrophobic part (afraid of water). Having both parts is what makes it so good at getting grease off of dishes. Additionally, whole milk has a lot of fat molecules (parts that make up a material). Together the dish soap and whole milk react with one another. The hydrophobic part of the soap attaches to the fat in the whole milk and tries to avoid the hydrophilic part of the soap this causes the food coloring to get moved around.

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