Simple science experiments at home or in the classroom are so easy to set up and perfect for young kids to play and learn with science. Common supplies become awesome science experiments and STEM activities. Explore what happens when mixing oil, water, and food coloring and learn about liquid density. There are tons of ways to have fun with science all year round!

OIL WATER AND FOOD COLORING EXPERIMENT

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MIXING OIL AND WATER

Get ready to add this simple oil and water experiment to your distance learning or classroom lesson plans this season. If you want to explore what happens when you mix oil and water together, let’s get started.  While you’re at it, make sure to check out these other fun science experiments for kids.

Our science 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!

Here we have an easy oil and water experiment with a fishy theme! Kids will learn whether oil and water mix together, and explore the concept of density or heaviness of different liquids.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Easy Science Experiments To Do At Home

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OIL AND WATER EXPERIMENT

Grab this free printable information guide on density to add to your project. Plus, it also comes with our best science practice sheets to share. You can find more easy density experiments here!

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Baby oil
  • Water
  • Large cup
  • Small cups
  • Food coloring
  • Dropper
  • Spoon
  • Toy fish (optional)
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HOW TO SET UP WATER AND OIL EXPERIMENT

STEP 1. Fill the small cups with water.

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STEP 2.  Add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring to each cup. Stir with spoon.  Notice what happens to the food coloring.

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STEP 3. Next fill the larger cup with baby oil. You don’t need to fill it too full – halfway is fine.

STEP 4. Fill the dropper with the colored water.  Slowly drop the colored water into the cup of oil and watch what happens! Add the toy fish for some fun play!

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Extend the activity by adding additional color drops such as yellow and watch the colors mix! The colors may start to mix at the bottom of the cup for a cool effect. 

Also explore why colors don’t mix with a fun skittles experiment!

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WHY DON’T OIL AND WATER MIX?

Did you notice the oil and water separated even when you tried to mix them together? Oil and water don’t mix because the water molecules attract each other, and the oil molecules stick together. That causes oil and water to form two separate layers.

Water molecules pack closer together to sink to the bottom, leaving the oil on top of the water. That’s because water is heavier than oil. Making a density tower is another great way to observe how not all liquids weigh the same.

Liquids are made up of different numbers of atoms and molecules. In some liquids, these atoms and molecules are packed together more tightly, resulting in a denser or heavier liquid.

Want to see how you can mix oil and water using an emulsifier? Check out our salad dressing activity.

How about a classic homemade lava lamp with oil, water, and alka seltzer tablets? This is another exciting way to demonstrate oil and water!

SCIENCE VOCABULARY

It is never too early to introduce some fantastic science words to kids. Get them started with a printable science vocabulary word list. You’re definitely going to want to incorporate these simple science terms into your next science lesson!

WHAT IS A SCIENTIST

Think like a scientist! Act like a scientist! Scientists, like you and me, are also curious about the world around them. Learn about the different types of scientists and what they do to increase their understanding of their specific area of interest. Read What Is A Scientist

SCIENCE BOOKS FOR KIDS

Sometimes the best way to introduce science concepts is through a colorfully illustrated book with characters your kids can relate to! Check out this fantastic list of science books that are teacher approved and get ready to spark curiosity and exploration!

SCIENCE PRACTICES

A new approach to teaching science is called the Best Science Practices. These eight science and engineering practices are less structured and allow for a more free**-**flowing approach to problem-solving and finding answers to questions. These skills are critical to developing future engineers, inventors, and scientists!

DIY SCIENCE KIT

You can easily stock up on the main supplies for dozens of fantastic science experiments to explore chemistry, physics, biology, and earth science with kids in preschool through middle school. See how to make a DIY science kit here and grab the free supplies checklist.

SCIENCE TOOLS

What tools do most scientists commonly use? Grab this free printable science tools resource to add to your science lab, classroom, or learning space!

SCIENCE CHALLENGE CALENDAR

Want to add more science to your month? This handy science experiment reference guide will have you doing more science in no time!