Magic Milk Kids Activity

Looking for a creative activity for the kids, but don’t want to clean up an abominable mess – or spend a fortune on supplies? We’ve got an easy activity that the kids will love, using products you’ve (most likely) already got sitting in your cupboard. It’s a little bit science-y, a little bit crafty, and very Instagram-worthy.

What you’ll need:

  • Food dye in at least 3 different colours (we recommend 5 for maximum effect)
  • Full cream milk
  • A shallow dish or plate
  • A cotton tip
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Newspaper



  1. Lay down some newspaper to keep your floors or surfaces free of food dye. In your shallow dish, add milk, making sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered. Next, add blobs of colour with your food dye into separate areas of the milk.
  2. Take your cotton tip and dip it into the dishwashing liquid, turning the bottle upside down if necessary. Make sure it’s really coated. Then, place your cotton tip into the milk and watch the magic milk come to life.
  3. Your dye should begin to ‘run away’ from the cotton tip. Try moving it around to create beautiful patterns.
  4. For an extreme effect, try pouring drops of detergent straight into the mixture.



Milk is made up of water, vitamins, minerals and fat. When the dishwashing liquid enters the dish, it has a chemical reaction which causes the fat to start to break down. The dishwashing liquid is essentially ‘chasing’ the fat around in an attempt to get to it, which we can see because of the food colouring. Eventually, all of the fat molecules will break down and the dishwashing liquid will have no effect in the mixture.