Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Underwater Fireworks

This was one of those projects that was the perfect combination of low prep and high engagement. The kids watched the "underwater fireworks" for a long time, and then requested that we keep the remaining mixture in the vase "just to look at" for a couple more days.

(Thank you, Pinterest, for the inspiration!)


Food dye
Clear glass containers


We began by pouring about a half cup of oil into a glass, then added two drops of each colour of food dye to the oil. We noted that the food dye remained in small round balls at the bottom of the glass. For comparative purposes, we did the same thing with a glass of water and observed that the food dye mixed with the water instead of staying in little balls. How interesting!

We disposed of the water mixture and turned our attention back to the glass of oil. The boy used a fork to vigorously stir the oil.

Stirring complete, we noted that the food dye was now in many many smaller balls within the oil.

The boy then poured the glass of oil and food dye into a vase of water.

In she goes!

And now we watch.

It didn't take long for the show to begin. As the little balls of food dye sunk from the oil down into the water, they "popped" into colourful underwater fireworks.

Aren't they pretty?

This one was my favourite. That reddish clump on the right looked like a little fishy swimming in our water!

When all the dye balls had sunk down into the water, we were left with a dark mixture of water on the bottom and a layer of oil on the top. We talked a bit about the why's but mostly just enjoyed the observation process. Looking forward to similar experiments in the future!


Science: Observation, description


  1. Awesome, I'm planning on doing this now with my little ones!! They cannot wait! Thanks for sharing! #throughHIMonly