Best.activity.ever. You’ve got to try this oil and water science experiment.
It’s an experiment…it’s a fine motor activity… it’s kind of an art activity too? What is this?! It’s an oil and water science experiment and it’s AWESOME.
There is some serious magic at work in this activity.
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The unexpected supplies and the unexpected magic!
There’s so much magic in a childhood science activity – from toddlers to big kids, science = magic and for good reason.
Science is ripe with the childhood curiosity that our kids are full of. So let’s add this amazing oil and water science experiment to the list!
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Here are the quick and easy supplies:
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- Oil (I use vegetable oil because it’s cheap)
- Food coloring
- Small cups or bowls (these are my favorites for drinking, art, and ice cream)
- Pipettes or syringes (like the ones left over from little kid medicine)
In small cups (clear is best) put 1/2 cup or so of oil. Next to them, put a few cups of water (dyed with food coloring).
You must MODEL this experiment first
The very first time you try this experiment with your child, please model it:
“This is a pipette. I’m going to use it to suck up some of the colorful water. Then I’m going to gently squeeze it into the oil and see what happens.
Let’s try this together.”
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And get ready for the oil and water science experiment MAGIC!
As we adults know, oil and water have different weight – different density. They DON’T mix.
And the result is epic.
Use this activity to encourage THINKING and QUESTIONING:
“Why is this happening?”
“What do you notice?”
“Can you change the size of the bubbles?”
This activity is all about THINKING. There are so many ways a child can experiment: varying colors, amount of water into oil, the speed. Try stirring the water into the oil and see what happens.
Bottom line: This activity is the COOLEST.
Is there a best age for this activity?
Remember: think STAGES not AGES. This activity is best for ANY child who can use a pipette or a syringe. For my kids, this was between 2-3 years old. My son is 4 in these photos.
**My 11 year old neighbor loves this activity too so remember that there also isn’t an age limit on this activity.
Get ready for some oil and water science experiment fun!
My son acts for this activity weekly. I’m buying oil by the Costco vat.
But you know what? He loves it. He’s learning. And it’s fueling his development and love of science.