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Fireworks From Oil And Water

Coloured Water Explosion

As we all know, fireworks when used correctly are safe, fun, colourful and exciting, but would you let your 8-year-old create a colourful firework style show of their own in your kitchen.......probably not and with good reason.

We all know mixing blue and yellow paint together will produce green. Learning about the way primary and secondary colours interact could be boring, but having fun at the same time would make the experience more memorable as the saying goes” a picture paints a thousand words”.

Next time you hear the phrase “Mum/Dad I’m bored” get them to try this inexpensive little experiment, and capture their imagination and maybe inspire the next David Hockney!

You will need:

1. A Pyrex/plastic or similar see-through container filled with water. (We found containers big enough to hold about half a gallon of water or bigger work best, and an old fish tank would be perfect (without the fish)).

2. About 40ml of cooking oil.

3. Some red, yellow & blue food colouring.

4. A small mixing container.

5. A spoon to mix the oil and food colours together.

Adult supervision may be required depending on the age of your children. Place the large container in the centre of a table or similar so the child/children can see it from all angles.

Next mix 5 or 6 drops of each of the food colouring (either all three colours at once or separately into the cooking oil and mix together.

Then pour the oil mixture into the water and stir.

This is where the magic happens, as we know water and oil don’t mix, when you pour the oil into the water, it will break up at first, but as they continue to watch, they will see the oil blobs find each other and begin to come back together, Leaving trails of purples, greens, oranges just like fireworks do, in fact almost any colour or shade can be created with a little experimentation. To learn more about the different colours in fireworks click here.

If you’re a budding artist and have some watercolour paper about, immerse it in water, let it dry out and preserve for prosperity.
We would love to see the finished pictures so please email them to and we will add it to our blog. Enjoy.


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