Make your own fireworks in a jar with this Independence Day Activities! For these firework activities, children will be doing an oil and water experiment with a twist to make pretty red, white and blue 4th of July science experiments. This summer experiment is such a fun, patritic 4th of July activity for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders to learn about the density of oil and water.
I love simple, fun activities that excited early learners! This easy firework activity is a great way to teach toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, and grad 3 students the oil and water science experiment with a fun twist! Children will be using the water oil food coloring experiment to make pretty fireworks in a jar. Use this oil and food coloring experiment in your 4th of July theme, summer science, or a creative fourth of july activities for kids of all ages. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschoole r- you will love this oil water and food coloring experiment!
Oil and Water Experiment
All you need to try this mason jar experiment are a few simple materials you already have on hand in your kitchen. For this patriotic activity you will need:
- mason jar or clear container
- warm water
- vegetable oil
- food coloring – we used red, white and blue to be patriotic
4th of july science experiments
Fill a glass container with warm water, leaving a couple inches or so at the top for oil to be added later. Pour 1-2″ of vegetable oil or similar to the top. Wait for it to sepearte clearly.
Independence Day Activities
Add a few drops of food colouring to the oil.
Oil and Water Science Experment
With the food colouring, we found that less is more. Too much food colouring, and it tended to colour the water before the fireworks effect had begun. We had the best results when we used 2 drops of food colouring per colour, with about 2-3 colours each time.
Water oil food coloring experiment
Use the fork to stir the few drops of food coloring in the oil together. The food colouring and oil won’t mix, but stirring helps to break up the food colouring into smaller droplets, and also ensures that the food coloring is thoroughly coated with the oil. (Try not to overdo it though, or your fireworks display won’t be as impressive.)
Density of oil and water
You can continue to create fireworks until your kids are done or the color build-up at the bottom of the glass is starting to make the water too cloudy.
Oil water and food coloring experiment
Kids are mesmerized by the colors and the firework-effect of the falling food coloring. It is so beautiful and looks different all the time! This is seriously a super easy and fun-to-try science experiment.
Summer activities for kids
This makes a fun summer activity to try at any time to celebrate a festival, vacation, or just explore a simple science project that reinds kids of beautiful fire works.
Oil and Food Coloring Experiment
This picture helps you see super clearly all the drops of paint in the oil. THey have been mixed in oh so gently so that they break apart. Notice how they do not mix with the oil as oil and water (you are using water based food coloring) do not mix. As it moves down the oil you will have a fireworks show. See all the fireworks lined up in the oil ready to burst into the water and create a stunning fireworks show!
Fireworks in a Jar Explanation
So this looks cool and all, but what is the science behind it? Glad you asked!
This is a Liquid density science experiments that allows kids to explore a little about chemistry and physics with a fun, playful science experiment for kids! As you noticed in the fire works in a jar experiment, oil and water do not mix. Not all liquids mix, some have different weights or densities because of their molecular structure. (If you’ve ever made a density tower this is what you were exploring.) Water is heavier than oil so it sinks because it is made up of a different amount of molecules. Basic food coloring you find at a store is water based so it dissolves in water, but not in vegetable oil. So as the food coloring goes in the oil you can stir just that level gently to break apart the blobs without making a big murphy blue mess. The food coloring drops and the oil remain separated in the container. The colored droplets will begin to sink because they are heavier than the oil. Once the food coloring reaches the water layer in the mason jar they start to dissolve in the water; this is what makes the fun fireworks in a jar.
4th of July Activities
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4th of July Printables
Looking for more fun and FREE fourth of July printables? You will love these:
- Kids will have practicing number recognition while revealing patriotic hidden images in these FREE 4th of July Color by Number Worksheet
- The whole family will have fun playing this free printable 4th of July Bingo Game
- Super cute, free 4th of July Hat Craft
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- Free 4th of July Worksheets for Preschool kids
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- Free Printable State Coloring Pages
- Have fun grilling with these 4th of July Activity counting with playdough mats
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- Color by Hundreds Chart 4th of July Worksheets