This fireworks in a jar science experiment is so much fun and super easy to do! My kids really loved it and it only takes a few minutes to setup! Check out the video to see how easy this fireworks in a jar experiment really is.
Fireworks in a Jar Science Experiment
This is one of our new favorite science activities. The kids loved it because it’s so quick that they were able to try lots of different color combinations! They experimented with many different variations and used different amounts of each color, hot water vs cold and so much more.
There was no end to their creativity and all they had to do was replace the oil and water to start with their next version!
Our step-by-step guide will take you through this engaging activity that combines science and art, ensuring your child learns through experimentation and practical example while having a blast!
Video of Fireworks in a Jar Science Experiment
Setting up the Fireworks in a Jar Experiment
Note: This should be done with adult supervision at all times.
To start, gather the following materials:
- Large clear jar
- Small bowl for oil and food coloring
- Vegetable oil
- Liquid Food coloring (assorted colors)
- Protective surface
- Begin by setting up an organized workspace. You will want to lay down a protective surface like a tray to make sure you catch any potential spills. The liquid food coloring can stain.
- Take the large jar and fill it about 3/4 of the way full.
- Take the small bowl and fill it with 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Add 2-4 drops of each of the food coloring colors you choose! Experiment with different combinations!
- Stir the vegetable oil and food color droplets slowly with a spoon. You want them to break apart some, but not too much.
- Once you are done stirring, slowly pour the vegetable oil into the mason jar.
- Watch as the fireworks begin once the food coloring sinks out of the vegetable oil and hits the water. Once the color hits the water it will expand quickly and combine with the other colors.
The great thing about this experiment is the vast number of variations. Your kids will be able to experiment with different amounts of droplets for each color. They can try different temps for the water and different amounts of vegetable oil. Our kids loved making different color combinations like purple by combining blue and red droplets.
- If you use hot water, the food coloring will dissolve faster when it hits the water. If you want the reactions to be a little slower use colder water.
- If you over-mix the food droplets in the oil, it will dissolve faster. Stir less to slow it down.
The Science Behind the Experiment
Food coloring does not dissolve in oil, but it does in water. Because the oil is less dense than water it will not mix with the water. The oil will stay at the top and the water will sink below because it is heavier. The food color droplets will sink out of the oil because they are heavier than oil. Once they hit the water they will dissolve and it will look like tiny fireworks.
Questions to Ask
Does the water temperature affect anything?
What color do you think this combination of food colors will make?
What role do you think the vegetable oil plays in this experiment?
Apart from the visual fun, this experiment offers numerous benefits for children:
- Critical Thinking: Kids will experiment with different variations as they use trial and error to figure out how to manipulate the experiment.
- Chemical Reactions: They will be introduced to simple chemical reactions, creating curiosity about the interactions between substances.
- Fine Motor Skills: Kids will help with mixing the vegetable oil and food coloring, and then pouring that mixture into the jar slowly, using their fine motor skills.
Watch as your child’s eyes light up with excitement and curiosity as they witness the mesmerizing fireworks in a jar!
More Fun Science Experiments for Kids
This rainbow Walking Water Science Experiment will wow your kids!
The Oobleck recipe is super easy to make and will keep the kids entertained!
This rainbow skittles experiment is a colorful water dissolving experiment as well!
This color changing flowers experiment is always a big hit for the kids!