Earth-friendly and kid-friendly science, make milk plastic! This is the perfect simple science experiment for any time of the year including Earth Day! Kids will be amazed by the transformation of a couple of household ingredients into a moldable, durable piece of a plastic-like substance. This milk and vinegar plastic experiment is a terrific example of kitchen science, a chemical reaction between two substances to form a new substance.
HOW TO MAKE PLASTIC MILK WITH MILK AND VINEGAR!
Get ready to add this quick and easy milk and vinegar experiment, just a few ingredients, to your preschool lesson plans this season. If you want to learn what happens when you add vinegar to milk, let’s dig in! While you’re at it, make sure to check out these other fun Earth Day activities.
Our science activities and experiments are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind! Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun! Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!
MILK AND VINEGAR EXPERIMENT
Let’s get right to learning how to turn milk into a plastic like substance… Head to the kitchen, open the fridge and grab the milk.
This milk and vinegar experiment asks the question: What happens when you add vinegar to milk?
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- Cookie cutters
- Paper towels
HOW TO MAKE PLASTIC MILK:
STEP 1: Add 1 cup of milk to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 90 seconds.
STEP 2: Mix in 4 tablespoons of vinegar and stir for 60 seconds.
STEP 3: Pour into a strainer and press out all the milk.
STEP 4: Press paper towel into the strainer to remove any leftover milk.
STEP 5: Lay out a piece of paper towel, place a cookie cutter onto the paper towel and press your vinegar milk into the cookie cutter and let set for 48 hours.
STEP 6: Wait the 48 hours and color with a sharpie.
MAKING PLASTIC MILK IN THE CLASSROOM
You will want to set aside a couple of days for this science experiment since it will need to dry before it can be colored!
If you want to turn this into more of an experiment rather than an activity consider testing different fat percentages of milk such as fat-free and low-fat varieties. Additionally, you could test different ratios of vinegar to milk. Would another acid like lemon juice turn the milk into plastic?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MIX MILK AND VINEGAR
Really, this milk and vinegar experiment does not produce real plastic. The new substance is casein plastic. If you want to explore real plastic polymers, try some homemade slime! Click here to read all about making homemade slime for easy science.
This plastic-like substance forms from a chemical reaction between the milk and vinegar. When the protein in the milk called casein comes in contact with the vinegar, the casein and vinegar do not mix but rather the molecules move around and join forces to make the casein plastic!
The casein becomes these plastic-like blobs that you can strain out and mold into shapes. This is one way of making a simple cheese from milk.
Keep in mind the milk might have a strong smell while you are experimenting with it!
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EASY TO MAKE MILK AND VINEGAR PLASTIC EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS!
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