Start with flour, salt, water and vegetable oil. Add some food coloring. Play with the dough you’ve made. In this quick ExpeRimental video from The Royal Institution, Pasha, Rushana and their son Aaryan demonstrate how to make play dough while exploring mixtures, solutions, and chemical reactions.
Salt and flour combined together produce a ‘mixture’ – they are physically combined but no reaction has taken place. When the water and food colouring mix completely they form a solution. When all the ingredients are heaped in together and kneaded, a new substance is formed because chemical reactions have taken place.
A classic DIY activity for young and old alike. Watch the video to learn more. Find the corresponding info sheet here (pdf).
Related ideas for the classroom from the Royal Society of Chemistry: How to teach mixtures and solutions.