Kids who love preschool pumpkin activities will get a blast out of this pumpkin magic milk science. It’s not just for preschoolers though. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy this pumpkin science that explores surface tension and chemical reactions.
Add a fall twist to the traditional milk and food color experiment with just a few simple additions. It would be perfect for your next pumpkin theme or as the kids are gearing up for a trip to the pumpkin patch. But you don’t really need a reason. You can also just set up the milk science because it’s fun.
You can set this up super fast, and make adjustments based on the ages and needs of your students. AND it can be a super simple activity, or you can make into a true science experiment by following the scientific method with the kids.
Pumpkin Magic Milk
Read below for all the details of this fall-themed milk science. I love how this activity uses simple materials, many of which you might already have at home. And it doesn’t take much to get it ready or make changes to best suit your classroom needs.
What Do You Need for Magic Milk?
You don’t need much for the pumpkin magic milk fun. In fact, it’s almost the same materials as the original magic milk with just a few tweaks.
Related: Pumpkin Calendar Numbers
The orange and green food coloring, as well as the pumpkin cookie cutters, are all you need to transform your magic milk into PUMPKIN magic milk. I love that you can change things up a bit to coordinate with themes, kids’ interests, seasons, etc.
How Do You Make Pumpkin Magic Milk?
First, place the pumpkin cookie cutters on the plate. You can use more cookie cutters if you want to. I’d suggest a larger plate or a bin if that’s the case.
Next, pour some milk onto the plate. Add enough milk to cover the bottom of the plate. After that, add 4 to 5 drops of orange food coloring inside each pumpkin. Leave a little bit of space between each drop.
Then dip a cotton swab in the dish soap. Place the cotton swab in the middle of the food coloring and watch what happens! Repeat this step with the other pumpkin, too. Swirl the cotton swab around an “paint” the inside of the pumpkins. Watch the cool patterns in the milk as you do so.
Move on to the milk around the pumpkins next. Drop 4 to 5 drops of green food coloring in those spots. Dip another cotton swab in the soap and repeat the steps above.
How Does Magic Milk Work?
The soap reduces the surface tension of the milk. Part of the dish soap attaches to the fat in the milk, and part attaches to the water in the milk.
This causes movement, which we might not normally see. The addition of the food coloring gives us a better look at the chemical reaction that happens within the pumpkin magic milk.
Obviously, this is a super simple explanation! You can read more in-depth information on magic milk from Scientific American if you want the nitty-gritty.
Make this an Experiment
As I have it listed above, this is more a pumpkin magic milk activity rather than an experiment. To truly be considered an experiment, you need to involve the scientific method. Yes, young children can learn about the scientific method, so don’t be scared to try it out with your students.
Here are the basic steps for the scientific method:
- Analyze the data
- Discuss data and observations
Take your lead from the kids as to what questions they might have. Maybe they want to know what changes when using different kinds of milk. Perhaps they’d be interested to see if different soaps or detergents yield different results. Start from there and walk through the rest of the list to get your little scientists thinking.
Would your students love this pumpkin magic milk science? Be sure to save this post for inspiration.
More Pumpkin Activities for Kids
Of course I have even more pumpkin-themed ideas for you:
- Pumpkin Shape Mats
- Fizzle Pumpkin Painting
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Printable Book
- Puffy Paint Pumpkins
- Pumpkin Geoboard
- Teen Numbers Pumpkin Bump Game
I think those activities will be great to try after all of the pumpkin magic milk fun! You can also check out my Pumpkin Theme Pinterest board for more ideas.
Pumpkin Preschool Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a ton of time with fully-developed, done-for-you early childhood education resources! We have lesson plans, as well as so many supplemental resources perfect for young children.
Like our pumpkin lesson plans that include a weekly overview, detailed daily lesson plans, book suggestions, whole group lessons, small group ideas, center activities, and related printables. Click on the image below to get your own:
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