Magic Milk Paint

Magic Milk Paint

Today, Gracen and I tried something I’ve had on my {mental} ‘list’ for a very long time now… Magic milk painting! And I’m very happy to say, it was every bit as cool as I thought it would be.  I’m not sure where I saw it first (it was a long time ago), but I found this post via Pinterest, we followed the instructions, and the activity was a huge hit.

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Here’s what we used… Homogenized milk (I’ve read it works better than lower fat milks), food colouring, dish soap, toothpicks, and a plate (all things we already had on hand – bonus).

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My happy little scientist / artist decided to enjoy the beautiful afternoon and took our things outside.  With a thin layer of milk covering the bottom of the plate, Grae added drops of food colouring in various places around the dish.

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Then, for the magic… With her toothpick dipped in dish soap, Grae began touching the food colouring drops. The soap causes the colouring to radiate away from the toothpick, creating beautiful circles and swirls of colour around the plate.

IMG 9397The more you dip, the more the colours move and blend.  I must say, it’s absolutely mesmerizing to watch.

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The coolest part is that the colours continue to dance and mix long after you touch them with the toothpick, so you don’t have to constantly be adding more soap to enjoy the beautiful effects.


Just take a look…


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Eventually, the milk becomes quite muddled and the colours no longer ‘dance’ as well.  At that point, it’s time to fetch a fresh dish of milk and start again.

We tried 3 times, twice with whole milk and once with half & half cream (thinking that the higher fat content might make the results even better), and I must say, the whole milk worked best. The cream did work well and made the colours move a little more slowly (which is a good thing if you want the activity to last longer), but at the same time, the slower effects did seem to take away (just a tiny bit) from the magic of it all.

Both Gracen and I enjoyed this activity so much that we’ll definitely be doing it again soon.  And although dairy products past their due date freak me right out (I know, I know…), it would be great to pull out when you have milk that’s gone a day or two past its best before date.

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