Rainbow Milk

(for ages 5+)


  • Watercolor paper*
  • Milk
  • Dish soap
  • Q-tips
  • Food coloring
  • Tray/shallow dish
  • Towels

*Watercolor paper absorbs the color the best, but if unavailable, use cardstock. Try not to use binder or printer paper, they don’t absorb as well.

Recipe for Playful Learning!

These colorful rainbow sheets will look great decorating the walls in your family room or your child’s bedroom!

STEP 1: Working close to a sink, make sure the paper fits in the tray.

STEP 2: Pour a thin layer of milk into the tray, enough to completely coat the bottom.

STEP 3: Add the food coloring in drops around the tray. Pick different colors each time for new design results!

STEP 4: Add drops of dish soap on top of the food coloring drops and watch the magic begin.

STEP 5: Use a Q-tip to swirl your colors.

STEP 6: Place your paper sheet on top of the milk, press down, and quickly pull out to set aside on a towel to dry.

STEP 7: Let it dry! (After a few days of drying the paper won’t smell from milk anymore!)

Science lesson: When you add soap to milk, something magic happens. The chemical properties of soap allow molecules to form around some of the molecules in your milk creating little bubbles. The outside bubbles are attracted to water, while the inside bubbles are attracted to some of the molecules of your milk. These bubbles form in your pan so when your food coloring starts to move around the water in your milk all the colors mix together to create a rainbow!

Skills to Practice: Chemistry, Creative Design, Critical Thinking