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.)

6 thoughts on “summertime school: (no)fire works”

  1. 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) 🙂

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