Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fun with food coloring, soap, and milk

We've now had 2 days of cold and wet weather.  Baby Chuck and I try to go out in the mornings, but we usually stay at home in the afternoons because parking spots are so difficult to find.  (Curse you, parallel parking!)

So... what's a cooped up mama and 16 month old baby to do?

Well, yesterday we tried another food coloring activity.  This time we found Steve Spangler's amazing science page.  He had a demonstration that involved food coloring, dish detergent, and milk.   Look what we were able to do:

Ooh.  Psychedelic!

- milk  (we used whole... but I bet you could use other types of milk... but the intensity may differ...)
- bowl / container
- food coloring
- dish soap
- cotton swab

1)  Pour a bit of milk into your plate (about a 1/4 of an inch- I just eyeballed it)
The small container in the back holds the dish soap.

2)  Drop one drop of each color into the middle

3)  Dip your cotton swab into your dish soap
4)  Now dip your swab (dish soap side) into your milk.  Hold it there for a couple of seconds and watch the colors swirl  (Note:  Baby Chuck decided to do his own thing.  He kept dipping the swab in and out of the milk.  Not to worry, it still worked)

Oooh.  Expecto colorum!

Baby Chuck loved seeing the colors swirl so much that we had to repeat the activity three times.  Yes!

Occupied baby = happy baby = happy mommy

Psst- in case you're wondering why it works, here's my basic understanding of it all.  (Definitely check out his website a clearer, scientific-y answer.)
- Milk has fat and proteins in it.
- One end of the dish soap molecules love water and the other end of the molecules love fat.
- Once the dish soap molecules touch the milk, the fat loving side of the soap molecules try to grab onto all the fat molecules in the milk.
- This chase causes whirly swirly movement.  We normally wouldn't be able to see all this happening.  Luckily for us, the drops of food coloring give us a first hand glimpse of it all.  As the fat chase happens, the food coloring molecules are jostled to and fro, creating lovely swirls of colors. Pin It