How does it do that? This is what many people think when they first see this calm-down jar. With just one shake, the two colors mix, creating a new color. Then little by little, the colors separate, and the liquids return to their original state.
So not only is this a really awesome way for students relax, but it’s also a great learning opportunity. Why don’t oil and water mix? What are primary and secondary colors? These questions can be answered through this hands-on experiment. Then when you’re finished, use these calm-down jars in your classroom as sensory items or for other activities. Check out the video on how they all came together.
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What You Need
- Jars (We like these plastic ones.)
- Baby oil
- Measuring cup
- Water-based food coloring
- Oil-based food coloring
1. Create your mixtures.
Fill your jar halfway with water. Then take your water-based fool coloring and add a few drops. You really don’t need much. Put the lid on the jar and shake thoroughly. Now make your oil-based mixture. Note the amount of water you used in the first step. You’ll want to pour the same amount of baby oil into your measuring container. Then, using a toothpick, stir in a little bit of oil-based food coloring. Mix well, until the oil has a nice even color.
2. Combine the water with the oil mixture.
Add your oil mixture to the jar of water. You’ll see the colors combining as you pour, but they’ll eventually separate.
3. Shake and observe.
This is the fun part! Give your jars a shake, and you’ll see the two colors mix together, creating a new color. After a few minutes, they’ll separate again.
We encourage you to use this lesson to teach students about mixing colors or to talk to them about why water and oil don’t mix. These jars also make great sensory items for your classroom. Or you can use them as a timer. Make them work for you!