Make Your Own Invisible Ink: A Fun STEM Project for Kids

Make Your Own Invisible Ink: A Fun and Educational STEM Project for Kids

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the world of secret messages and invisible ink? This exciting STEM project is perfect for curious young minds who love to explore the wonders of science. Get ready to create your own invisible ink using everyday household items and discover the fascinating chemistry behind this magical transformation.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Turmeric powder
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small bowls
  • Spoons
  • Q-tips or cotton swabs
  • Paper
  • A black light (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Baking Soda Solution: In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water. Stir until the baking soda is completely dissolved.
  2. Create the Turmeric Indicator: In another small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon of hand sanitizer. Stir until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  3. Write Your Secret Message: Using a Q-tip or cotton swab, dip it into the baking soda solution and write your secret message on a piece of paper. Let the message dry completely.
  4. Reveal Your Secret Message: Once the message is dry, dip a Q-tip or cotton swab into the turmeric indicator and gently brush it over the paper. Watch in amazement as your invisible message is revealed!
  5. Optional: Enhance the Magic with a Black Light: For an added touch of excitement, use a black light to illuminate your secret message. The message will glow under the black light, adding an extra layer of intrigue to your invisible ink experiment.

The Science Behind the Magic:

This invisible ink project is a fantastic way to introduce kids to the concepts of pH indicators, bases, reagents, and chemical changes. Here’s a simplified explanation of the science behind this experiment:

  • pH Indicators: Turmeric powder acts as a pH indicator, which means it changes color depending on the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. In this case, the turmeric indicator turns from yellow to brown when it comes into contact with the baking soda solution.
  • Bases: Baking soda is a base, which means it has a pH level greater than 7. When the baking soda solution is applied to the paper, it raises the pH level of the paper, causing the turmeric indicator to turn brown.
  • Reagents: In this experiment, the baking soda solution and the turmeric indicator act as reagents, which are substances that react with each other to produce a visible change.
  • Chemical Changes: The reaction between the baking soda solution and the turmeric indicator is a chemical change, as it results in the formation of a new substance (the brown-colored compound) with different properties from the original substances.

Educational Benefits:

This invisible ink project offers a hands-on learning experience that engages kids in the exciting world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). It encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity while teaching important scientific concepts in a fun and interactive way.


With this invisible ink project, kids can explore the fascinating world of chemistry and discover the magic of secret messages. It’s a perfect STEM activity for elementary-aged kids, providing an opportunity to learn, experiment, and have fun all at the same time. So, gather your materials, unleash your inner scientist, and embark on this thrilling journey into the realm of invisible ink!