Glow in the Dark Milk Plastic – non-toxic, easy and fun kids STEM Activity. Create toys, decorations, sensory items and more. Perfect for Halloween.
We LOVE making milk plastic. Once we discovered this non-toxic and extremely simple way of making our own plastics it’s like a whole new world of making and creation opened up to us. For Halloween we decided to try something new, glow in the dark milk plastic!
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Making milk plastic is so easy. All you need is:
Milk – 2% works best in our experience and yes it can be past the due date, as long as it hasn’t already started going off.
Mesh strainer or cheese cloth
The best part is that you don’t even need to be exact with your portions. Perfect for kids that love to just slap everything together and be independent in their STEAM work!
For a more detailed tutorial, you can check out my original post on making milk plastic.
Fill a microwave safe bowl with milk (or you can heat the milk on the stove in a pot). Heat it until it is just starting to steam.
Add a few teaspoons of vinegar, and mix gently. The curds will begin forming immediately, but stir gently for a couple of minutes until the reaction is complete. You are creating curds and whey, just like in the story books!
Strain off the whey liquid, leaving only the curds. Now is the really important step, place the curds in some paper towel and get out as much liquid as possible. You will probably go through a lot of paper towel, but this is the step that really affects the final quality of your plastic.
Next, you want to soak your curds in a new bowl of vinegar for one hour. Use regular vinegar for normal milk plastic, but if you want glow in the dark this is the super secret step!
Pour some vinegar in a bowl, now break open a non-toxic yellow highlighter and pull out the ink tube, place the tube in your vinegar and squish it around to get all the ink out and into your vinegar. Remove the empty tube, then add your curds to soak for an hour.
The curds will soak up the highlighter ink and fluoresce under black light!
If you don’t have a highlighter you can add a bit of glow in the dark paint to your vinegar to get a similar effect.
After the curds have soaked for an hour, remove them from the vinegar and place them in paper towels again. Once again the goal is to remove as much liquid as you possibly can.
Let them sit for 24 hours in the mold, then carefully remove them from the mold and let them air dry for another 24 to 48 hours.
Turn on your black light and watch them GLOW!
I clear coat our milk plastic and it lasts forever. I still have our little Legoman and dinosaur we made last winter.
And now you can really make the glow pop with this simple household item.
Milk plastic is such a versatile STEAM activity, we just love it!
We use our creations in sensory bins, as decorations, gifts, toys, and even game pieces. Another thing we have created with milk plastic is jewelry. You can find out exactly how I made friendship bracelets out of milk plastic in my new book STEAM Kids.