STEAM at Home: Magic Milk Art

To celebrate International Museum Day (May 18), I decided to experiment with creating magic marble milk using simple household items. Magic Marble Milk is an easy and fun experiment, and the science behind it is really fascinating. If you happen to have watercolor paper, you can cut up the pieces of paper and create little mini portraits of Magic Marble Milk!

For this experiment, you’ll need:

  • A deep tray or dish
  • A smaller bowl
  • Milk (whole milk works best)
  • Dish soap
  • Q-tips
  • Food coloring
  • Watercolor paper or regular drawing paper (optional)

First, pour a layer of milk into the tray. Next, place drops of food coloring into the milk, spaced out around the tray or dish. You can use a variety of colors; I used red, yellow, green and blue. Next, take your Q-tip and dip it into the soap. Next, touch the surface of the drops of the coloring with your Q-tip. A chemical reaction has occurred!



Questions to ask:
What happens if you use other types of milk (almond or fat-free milk) instead of whole milk?
Could you substitute laundry detergent instead of using dish soap?
You can also try using cotton balls!

The science behind Magic Marble Milk:
The molecules in the dish soap are attracted to the fat molecules in the milk. Once the soap mixes with the milk/coloring solution, the molecules begin to bond and the food coloring begins to burst. Eventually, the reaction begins to break off.

To turn this experiment into an art project, make Marbled Milk Paper by following this tutorial along with my video and pictures.

Helpful websites:

Related Reading on Overdrive:
Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman
A Day at the Museum: Ana and Andrew by Christine Platt
The Stories of the Mona Lisa by Piotr Barsony
Women in Art by Rachel Lgnotofsky
A Splash of Red: the Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant
Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy
Art for Little Kids: 26 Playful Projects for Preschoolers; activities for STEAM learners
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds
Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty
Crafts to Make in the Spring by Kathy Ross
Crayola Boredom Busting Crafts by Rebecca Felix

Hoopla Resources:
The Museum by Susan Verde & Peter H. Reynolds (eBook and read along)
Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’ Connor (audiobook)
Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’ Connor (eBook)
Curious George Museum Mystery by H.A. Ray (eBook)
My Weird School Goes to the Museum by Dan Gutman (eBook)

Museum Websites and other resources:

Categories: Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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