Preschool Experiment: Milk, Food Coloring, and Dish Soap

You may remember from my previous preschool experiment post that March was the kickoff for a new thing around our house: preschool homeschool. I’ll have a post up about how the first week goes, but this past Sunday before starting the ‘official’ homeschool days, I decided to do another fun play experiment with her. A classic – mixing milk, food coloring, and dish soap. You’ll need: a lipped plate, milk, food coloring, dish soap (we used Dawn), cotton swaps, and a small container for the soap.

Quick note: please excuse her lack of shirt in the photos – she absolutely insisted that this must be done in her underwear and refused to put on her apron (which she normally loves wearing). Didn’t bother me any; undies all the way!

We set out a plate with a very thin layer of milk in it. Whole milk works best, and we just happened to have some left over from making white hot chocolate!


She then instructed me where to put the drops of color. Then I let her dip her cotton swab in the soap to start ‘drawing’ in it!


She loved watching the food coloring pool out away from the soapy cotton swab! Also, I’d like to note that I did the ‘experiment’ part of this more as a color mixing and learning the primary colors experiment. I figured the reaction between the soap and milk was a little over her head, so in terms of ‘learning’ we used this more as a color lesson than a science lesson.She knows that red and blue make purple but is a little iffy on the other primary mixes. I would ask her before she started swirling her swab in the mixture what color she thought it would make. She actually remembered blue and yellow make green! But red and yellow definitely stumped her.


Occasionally she would poke the milk mixture and make a small splash, causing perfectly round droplets that would skate across the top. She loved that. The photo below is the best I could get, but I think that ended up being her favorite part!


Once we had exhausted our mixing options and our attention span (aka about twenty-five minutes of color mixing) I let her pour the soap into the colored milk to see what would happen. We added a drop of red food coloring to the soap first at her request.


She was fascinated at all the swirlies it made in the milk! This was definitely a successful experiment, and one we’ll do again just for fun. Especially when we get to our art and color homeschool week!

Until next time,


3 thoughts on “Preschool Experiment: Milk, Food Coloring, and Dish Soap

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