According to Anna, it was the best experiment ever. The experiment was liquid fireworks, and it’s brilliant in its simplicity. All you need is oil, water and food coloring. First Anna mixed some oil with red, yellow and blue food coloring and watched in amazement how food coloring was breaking into tiny globules inside the oil. I think, by the way, that experiment would be more interesting with lighter cooking oil, but we only had olive oil available. Then she poured oil into water and observed “the fireworks”. What I liked about this experiment is that Anna could do it mostly on her own. One mistake that we made, however, is that our first vase was too small, and the water very quickly became black. We moved to a bigger vase, but we didn’t restart experiment from scratch. Instead Anna got a huge kick mixing the water and oil and then watching them separate again. She kept saying that she is making lemonade and kept asking why she cannot make the oil “bubbles” stay inside of her “lemonade”. It was a great way to give some introduction to density and how certain things don’t mix well together, plus I was fascinated myself to see different colors shooting out of black oil.
For more science with young kids, visit Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.