Children love science, whether they know it or not. From inventing little contraptions with things they find around the house to watching what food coloring can do to hard-boiled eggs or some cake icing, activities influenced by science fascinate children of all ages.
This weekend, teach your children about density by creating a liquid rainbow in a jar. Even if they are too young to understand the concept of density, your children will enjoy mixing the liquids and watching the colorful results develop.
For this activity, you will need:
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup blue liquid dish soap
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup isopropyl alcohol
blue, red, and green food coloring
Let’s get started!
In a glass, use a spoon to combine the light corn syrup with one drop of blue food coloring and one drop of red food coloring.
Pour the corn syrup mixture into a Mason jar that can hold a little more than 2 ½ cups of liquid.
Pour the dish soap slowly down the side of the Mason jar.
In a separate glass, mix ½ cup of water with two drops of green food coloring, again using a spoon.
Slowly pour this green mixture down the side of the Mason jar with the dish soap inside.
Pour the vegetable oil down the side of the Mason jar slowly. At this stage, you are demonstrating to your children that oil and water don’t mix.
In a separate glass, use a spoon to mix the isopropyl alcohol with two drops of red food coloring.
Slowly pour this red mixture down the side of the Mason jar.
Congratulations! You have completed the science experiment and should now have a Mason jar full of colorful, layered liquids. Hopefully you and your children learned that not all liquids are created equal, as some are denser than others.
Thank you to Jennifer Shaffer for photographing this activity. Jennifer Shaffer is a Chicago-based photographer, specializing in family portraits.