This experiment blew my kids minds (and mine). I give you Fireworks in a Glass! You only need three household ingredients and a few minutes and you will have yourself a fun and exciting activity for the kids! I found this awesome idea over at About.com.
To make your own you will need:
Oil (vegetable, olive, peanut – any will work)
Directions Step 1
Fill a glass 3/4 of the way to the top with warm water
In a separate glass add a few table spoons of oil and add 4 drops of food colouring – of differing colour
Using a fork, give the oil and food colouring mixture a good mix to break up the ‘colour beads’ into smaller ones
Carefully pour the oil & food colouring mixture into the glass of warm water and wait for the magic to happen!
We did this over and over and OVER again and the kids couldn’t get enough to it…the photos barely do it justice too…it really is quite amazing how the coloured patterns form!
How it works (excerpt from About.com) “Food coloring dissolves in water, but not in oil. When you stir the food coloring in the oil, you are breaking up the coloring droplets (though drops that come into contact with each other will merge… blue + red = purple). Oil is less dense than water, so the oil will float at the top of the glass. As the colored drops sink to the bottom of the oil, they mix with the water. The colour diffuses outwards as the heavier colored drop falls to the bottom” If you liked this experiment, you may also like our:
Leak proof Bag Science Experiment
Learning how Plants absorb water Experiment
Erupting Volcano & Magically inflate a balloon Experiments
35 thoughts on “Fireworks in a Glass”
We just did this and it was so lovely to watch! Also great to hear my 4 year old explaining to me why he thought the oil wasn’t mixing and the colours were dropping down. Thanks so much for the detailed post! Science Saturday has been restored in our house 🙂
Yay! I’m so glad to hear that Amy! Jenni x
Such a wickedly awesome idea! When my witch grandchildren are here next, I will be doing this with them. Kudos to you.
soooo wonderful thankyou. I have done the experiment with food colouring, milk and detergent but never with the oil. I will use that with our playsessions at TAFE as I teach the Cert III students how to have fun with the children. again thankyou
looks awsome – going to try this with my kids
Not only will this be wonderful entertainment for my grandchildren
And Poppie, I will have my students in a special writing class write one paragraph on the exact steps to follow, one paragraph on each of their on reactions and one paragraph wondering what would happen if we changed one ingredient. We will then change the experiment and then write about our new experience. Discovery is a fantastic way to learn and gives so much thrill to writing. We especially love writing for publications.
Can’t wait to try this with the grandkids! Send me more!
My boys are gona luv this !! Will keep u posted with their reactions n comments Xx
Thanks for some excellent ideas !! My grandbabies are going to love all of these Thanks again!!
Going to have my grandkids this summer and look forward to it now that I have these crafts to do. Thanks a lot
My twelve year old twins; Caitlyn and Freya, tried this and they absolutely loved it! Their teachers actually came to me and complimented them on their creativity! Thanks SO, SO much! Even my sixteen year old Maddi loved it!
love this idea – am trying it on Monday –
My 8 year old loved it!
I love this fireworks in a glass. Going to let the Kids make it as a take home project in Vacation Bible School. Thanks for sharing these make at home projects with Kids.
We just tried this 3 times and it didn’t work once. We waited ages each time. I can’t for the life of me work out what I’m doing wrong, any ideas?
How important is the temperature of the water? I’d like to try this for a group of students at school, on a rotational basis. We have water filters where I can instantly get hot, room temp or cold water. Would the hot water be okay to use?
I’m sure that would be fine Ashley! Good luck and let us know how you go! Jen x
Thanks, Jen! It worked just fine with room temperature water and even water that was a little bit on the colder side straight out of the faucet. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!
Is it important to use glass containers, or could you also use a plastic one for either?
Hi Grace, yes you can use plastic 🙂
Why isnt ours working are we doing anything wrong? We had Green, Pink, Blue, followed the instructions and 1sr it all went to the bottom and one colour the. The 2nd attept all to the top and ine colour
Thanks for sharing. This looks a great experiment to try!
This is really a satisfying art & crafts.
This is great, thank you so much for sharing!