Milk Art Science!

This project is incredible. The results are not only dramatic but are beautiful too - you'll be making art whilst learning about science. Your kids (whatever their age) will want to do this over and over so make sure that you have plenty of milk!

Milk Art Science! Milk Art Science! Milk Art Science! Milk Art Science!

Project Info

Difficulty Easy
Duration Under 15 minutes
Age 3+
Submitted by


  • Dish Soap
  • Liquid Food Coloring (at least 2 colors)
  • Milk
  • Toothpicks


  • Step 2

  • Step 5

  1. Pour a thin layer of milk into a small flat bottomed dish, plate or saucer.
  2. Add drops of food coloring (in at least 2 different colors) over the surface of the milk.
  3. Pour a little dish soap into a small bowl
  4. Dip the end of the toothpick into the dish soap
  5. Now touch the soap to the surface of the milk - and be amazed!


  1. This simple science experiment demonstrates surface tension - the effect that means that small bugs can really walk on water! All molecules are attracted to each other. When you add food coloring drops to the milk, it is prevented from spreading far by the strong forces between the milk molecules (surface tension). Dish soap lowers this attraction - Freeing the milk molecules to move. At the same time, the detergent reacts with the fat in the milk, causing them to both change shape and to move. During all this activity, the food coloring molecules are caught up in the fun and are moved around the milk. You can add an additional drop of soap and see what happens. If there are still fat molecules that have not reacted with the detergent then you will see some more movement. Eventually the milk and detergent reach an equilibrium.


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Useful supplies

- our picks from Amazon for this project:
McCormick Assorted Food Color & Egg Dye, 1 fl oz
McCormick Assorted Food Color & Egg Dye
Norpro Ornate Wood Toothpicks, 360 pieces
Norpro Ornate Wood Toothpicks

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