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a summer fave... fireworks in a jar!

Monday, June 24, 2024

Two years ago our patriotic Littles were all dressed up 

to celebrate their first 4th of July!

What a fun holiday that was for our families!

And this year, we each have a new little firecracker that will join in the fun!

We can’t wait!

In last Thursday’s post, we offered 3 activities 

that would intrigue the Littles in your life and  really get them thinking!

Today’s SUMMER FAVE would be equally fun anytime of the year

but would be especially so during this season of red, white and blue!

If you’ll be spending time with your Littles during the next week or so…

Your grandchildren, your own kiddos or ones you care for/teach each day,

you must give this activity a try!

Our Fireworks in a Jar is the perfect Discovery Time activity 

to inspire Independence Day wonders!

You’ll only need a few simple supplies from the kitchen

to make these colorful fireworks!

This science experiment will mesmerize your Littles…

Don’t be surprised if they want to make their own fireworks over and over again!


• a large empty jar (we used a big vase)

• warm tap water

• liquid (not gel) food coloring (we used 3-4 colors)

• cooking oil (we used vegetable)

• a small glass bowl 

• a fork or a spoon


1. Fill your empty jar or vase 3/4 full with warm tap water.  Set aside.

2. In the small glass bowl, add oil (2-4 Tablespoons) and food coloring (we used 4 drops each of red and yellow and only 2 drops each of blue and green).

A Grand Tip!

You may need to experiment with how many drops of each color.

We found that the darker colors 

often overpowered the lighter ones.

3. Use a fork or spoon to slowly stir the food coloring into the oil.  Do this slowly!  The drops of food coloring will break into smaller, separate droplets of color.

4. Carefully pour the fool coloring droplets and oil mixture into the jar.

5. Time to wait and watch what happens… Soon the oil will rise to the top of the jar but the food coloring will slowly sink out of the oil and into the water.  When this happens, it will expand and begin to mix with the other colors. creating your fireworks in a jar!  Keep watching!  The fireworks will continue until all of the droplets of food coloring have fallen from the oil!

Younger Littles will simply love watching the process of the fireworks in a jar.  

Your older (school age) Littles however might wonder why

the oil and water don’t mix since they are both liquids!


Liquid food coloring dissolves in water but not in oil. Because the oil is less dense than the water, it will float at the top. The colored droplets will begin to sink because they are heavier than the oil. Once they sink into the water, they will begin dissolving into the water (which looks like a tiny explosion).

Liquids can have different weights or densities.   Water is heavier than oil so it sinks  Liquid based food coloring dissolves in water but not in oil.  This is how the drops and oil remain separated in the container.  

As you pour the bowl of colored droplets and oil into the jar of warm water, the colored drops will begin to sink because they are heavier than the oil.  Once they reach the water in the jar though, they start to dissolve in the water and mix together, creating the fireworks in a jar!  

More Questions… If your older Littles want to experiment further, they can test to see if the temperature of the water in the jar makes a difference OR what might happen if they don’t mix the food coloring with the oil ahead of time… 


If you’d like to try an even simpler version of a fireworks activity,

try our Exploding Fireworks experiment!

This one always got our kindergartners oohing and aahing!


• milk (whole milk works best)

• liquid food coloring (again, not gel)

• dish soap (put some in a small bowl)

• cotton swabs 

• a clean shallow pan (a clear glass pan/pie plate works well)


1.  Pour milk into your dish..

2.  Add several drops of food coloring - use as many different colors as you like.  Then dip the Q-tip in a small bowl of dish soap.

3.  Gently touch the top surface of the milk near the edge of the pan) with the soapy end of the Q-tip! 

4.  Wait and watch!  Before you know it, you’ll see lots of exploding fireworks!


When the food coloring is first added to the milk it looks like not much is happening… then slowly the food coloring drops spread through the milk. 

Once the dish soap is added to the milk, the soap molecules cause a chemical reaction in the milk. The soap lowers the surface tension of the milk and reacts with both the fat and protein molecules in the milk.  This interaction makes the proteins change shape, sending them swirling, which in turn makes the colors swirl about.  And the soap and fat want to join together so that also causes movement.

The presence of the food coloring allows us to see the reaction between the soap and the milk, creating your very own fireworks show!  

Eventually everything quiets down with no more movement and the reaction ends. 

Your younger Littles can help pour the milk into the dish as well as add drops of food coloring.  Older Littles will be able to carefully add the cotton swab dipped in dish soap.  In fact, don't be surprised if you're asked to "do it again"!

As we get ready to celebrate everything red, white and blue,

you may also want to check out our 4h of July post from last year…

In this special post we shared our ideas for patriotic family fun!

We included ideas for

craft projects and decorations,

games and activities


 red, white and blue eats & treats!

We even shared a special holiday memory or two!

❤️ 🇺🇸 ❤️

If YOU have any 4th of July ideas that you’ve found successful

to do with Littles or while hosting a family gathering,

please comment at the end of our post.

You know how much we love sharing with friends!

If you'd prefer, you can always email us privately at

On Thursday, we plan to post one more weekly theme,

Let's Create!

before taking a short holiday break!

In the meantime,

look for us to share reminders and new content regularly on social media!

You can find us on InstagramFacebook and on Pinterest, too!

We found this sweet sentiment

and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pass on its good advice!


Sundays on Silverado from The House on Silverado

Create It Link Party from Try It - Like It

BFF Open House from The Answer is Chocolate

Thank you for featuring this post on your sites!

❤ We love our blogging community! ❤

❤️ We are delighted to join the following link up parties and blog hops! ❤️










Jul 05

Happy 4th of July to you all.

Thanks for sharing with #pocolo


Our Grand Lives
2 days ago
Replying to

Thanks, Suzanne!


Jul 04

What a fun idea and perfect alternative to fireworks. Featuring when my BFF Open House link party opens!

Our Grand Lives
2 days ago
Replying to

Thank you, Carol! We are excited to be featured! Thanks for providing the opportunity!


Jul 02

I just love the fireworks in a jar! Thank you for sharing with us at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #44.


Our Grand Lives
2 days ago
Replying to

Thanks, Steph! It's a fun activity to do with Littles!


Jun 30

Both of these experiments look fun to do, even as an adult!

Take care and best wishes

Debra | Gma’sPhoto

Our Grand Lives
Jul 01
Replying to

We'd agree... plus experiencing it through our Little's eyes is priceless! Happy 4th, Debra! - 💕 Laura


Jun 30

This makes me almost wish I was still teaching! It's always fun to create something that looks neat but has science behind it! Thanks for sharing!

Our Grand Lives
Jul 01
Replying to

So true, Marsha! That fun "aha" moment was always fun when teaching and equally so now! - 💕 Laura

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