summertime school: (no)fire works

For today’s Summertime School we are doing a fun and easy science project just in time for the Fourth of July!


No Fire works is a safe and simple project for any age, we will never forget how excited our kids got when we showed them this one!


All you need is two cups of milk (2% or whole work best), hand soap, food coloring and cotton swabs!

1.  Pour the milk into a shallow dish, like this plate.

2. Put 2-3 drops of different food coloring drops in each corner of the plate, leaving space between each color.

3. Put a drop of soap in the middle between the colors.


4. Grab a cotton swab, dab it with soap, and then gently poke the middle of each of the colors.


Watch what happens! The “oohing”, “aahing” and faces of shock and surprise were so fun we did the project over a few times!


We are also loving Honest’s kid-friendly Sparklers DIY here.// Head here for more Summertime School. // And here for three DIYs for making your own patriotic tanks and sneakers! //

If you have a “Why?” kid, here’s a quick simplified explanation why this experiment works:

Milk is largely made of water, but it also contains fat proteins. Those proteins are really sensitive to changes in the water molecules around it. When you add the soap, the properties of the soap that do not dissolve in water race to attach to the fat proteins in the milk. While this transfer happens the drops of the food coloring (which the proteins can’t attach to) get bumped around creating the fireworks! Once the soap becomes attached and evenly distributed the mixture will settle, (until you add another drop of soap.)


  • Kelly
    July 1, 2013 at 6:16 am

    So much fun! Thanks!

  • Debbie Wyler
    July 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

    So fun! Thanks for sharing. My kids will love it!

  • jen fox
    July 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    ha! I do this as a lab with my high school biology class when we study the organic molecules! it is a favorite of sophomores and freshman. I always bring home leftovers to share with my littles. I need to go through my lab binders and send you some other labs for you to tie into holiday fun for kids… sometimes my brain is too “sciency” to see it another way. p.s. I always use whole milk at room temperature ( cold molecules move slower) 🙂

  • indoor (no) fire works. | Puj
    July 5, 2013 at 8:03 am

    […] This science project (they call it “no fire works”) can be brought indoors during this heat, is simple enough for the whole family and maybe as exciting as the standard (explosive) fireworks for some of us. We had a blast with this one, Small Fry! […]

  • Linda Jorgensen
    July 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    can you put paper on top and lift it off to make a painting?

  • Martha Moger
    July 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    A great experiment! And I especially love the ‘Why’ explanation as I am truly blessed with the ultimate ‘Why’ kid!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.