Exciting oil and water marbling experiment

Lab coats at the ready for this fun activity

Exciting oil and water marbling experiment
by Sara Conway

We know oil and water don't mix, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to try – especially when they create amazing patterns like these. This amazing experiment is quick to set up, mess-free, and looks really cool! 

You will need

  • Shallow tub
  • Food colouring
  • Baby oil
  • Paintbrush


Step 1

Help your child to fill a clear tub or shallow dish with about 1cm of oil.

Step 2

Add drops of different coloured food colouring.

Step 3

The oil and food colouring won’t mix, so your child can swirl them with a paintbrush to create an amazing marble effect.

Love this idea? Try our fun fizzing colours experiment next!

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Learning guide

This fun oil and water experiment helps your child learn about liquid density, and what happens when different liquids are combined. The food colouring has the same density as water, but the oil has a lower density (in other words, it's lighter). That's why the two liquids don't mix together, regardless of how much your child swirls them around with the paintbrush! Get creative by adding different colours and watch what happens – can your little one predict which colour they’ll make when they add yellow to red?