Milk firework experiment

This experiment is great to do with toddler, pre-schoolers, or primary school children. Try it yourself at home (food colouring can stain, so wearing aprons and putting newspaper down is recommended).

Milk experiment

You will need

  • Full fat milkĀ 
  • Different colours of food colouring
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cotton buds
  • A shallow dish with a flat bottomĀ 


  • Pour the full fat milk into the bottom of the dish (just enough to cover the bottom.
  • Add small drops of food colouring to the milk.
  • Dip a cotton bud into the washing up liquid, then into the milk (hold it still).
  • Watch as the colours quickly dart away from the washing up liquid, and start to swirl around the milk, like fireworks

(The fat from the milk reacts with the soap in the washing up liquid. The food colouring makes it possible to see the chemical reaction).

Staying in for fireworks night? Watch a short virtual fireworks display (no sound).

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