Milk Magic

This weeks Play Tray Sensory Activity is Magic Milk!


This is a super simple experiment that addresses a lot of areas:

  • Language development: Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking: predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration

milk magic

milk magic 1


  1. Pour enough milk into the bowl to cover the bottom. Be careful not to move the bowl, you want the milk as still as possible.
  2. Put one drop of each color in different places in the milk.
  3. Put just a tiny amount of soap on the end of the cotton swab, then touch it to one of the colors. WOW!
  4. Let the experimenting begin! Add another drop of soap to the tip of the cotton swab and try it again. Experiment with placing the cotton swab at different places in the milk. Notice that the colors in the milk continue to move even when the cotton swab is removed. What makes the food coloring in the milk move?
  5. To clean up, just pour the milk down the drain. (Do not drink it)

milk magic 2

milk magic 3

milk magic 4

Whats Happening

Milk has fat in it and the food coloring floats on top of the fat. The fat is all connected with bonds. Think of it like the little pieces of fat all holding hands with each other. Dish soaps are used on greasy or oily dishes because it breaks the bonds in fats allowing them to separate. When you add the dish soap to the milk, the fat separates and moves making your magical milk art!

There are a lot of great questions to ask and concepts to talk about with your kiddo during this experiment, depending on their age and interest level. As an added bonus, it’s super easy to clean up!

Let the fun begin!

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