This Magic Milk Experiment Is an Easy Kitchen Activity for Kids

This "magic milk" experiment will wow the kiddos!

There are so many wonderful things you and your kids can cook up in the kitchen. From cookies to pancakes to homemade ice cream, cooking projects are sure to keep them occupied, and eventually, full. Plus, busy cooks can always use a helping hand!

While you won’t be taking a bite out of this dish, the recipe for “magic milk” is bound to captivate any kid (and most adults). TikTok user @goodbyetwenties shows us how it’s done in the video below.

@goodbyetwenties Day 4/10 of kids activities. Christmas magic milk. #kidschristmascrafts #kidschristmas #momtok ♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

It’s time to add magic milk to our list of kitchen science experiments for kids!

How to Make Magic Milk

Here’s what you’ll need for the magic milk experiment:

  • Whole milk
  • Food dye
  • Dish soap
  • Q-Tips

To get started, pour whole milk into a large, flat casserole dish. Don’t fill the whole thing, though. Just enough so that the bottom is covered.

Next, grab the food coloring and squeeze droplets of it all over your layer of whole milk. This is perfect for kids—have them mix and match colors and make the milk as colorful as they want.

Now it’s time for the magic! Dip the cotton end of a Q-tip in dish soap, and then dip it in the milk-food coloring mixture and watch as the colors move and swirl all on their own.

The Science Behind the Magic

Let’s take a trip back to elementary school science class, shall we?

To start, molecules bond together on the top of the milk and food coloring to form a dome-shaped surface. You won’t be able to visibly see the dome, but compare it to a glass of water filled to the brim, at the point just before it overflows. These molecular bonds create surface tension that breaks when it comes into contact with the soap-soaked Q-tip.

The dish soap breaks apart the molecular bonds, just like it breaks bonds to clean tough food stains on our cookware, and sends the molecules in the milk into a magical disarray.

Looking for more projects to keep the little ones busy? Don’t miss our list of Christmas activities for kids.

Popular Videos

Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.