Exploring Colors with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Combine art and science in this fun and easy activity for kids using baking soda and vinegar. It’s one of our favorite science experiments for preschool and kindergarten!

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Science and Art for Kids: Exploring colors with chemical reactions (A fun science activity for preschool and kindergarten using baking soda and vinegar)


I’ve done this art and science activity with all of my after school kindergarten classes, and it always seems to be the one they remember the most! It’s really easy to set up and you only need a few common ingredients. (This post contains affiliate links.)


Exploring Colors with Baking Soda and Vinegar

In this science activity, not only will children get to create a chemical reaction, but they’ll also be able to explore color mixing and create some colorful “artwork”!


Materials for Exploring Colors Activity


Directions for Exploring Colors Activity

Prior to the activity we read books about colors. A good one to read right before is  A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.

1. Give each child or group of children a tray.

2. Fill the tray with baking soda. (We used one box per tray.)


fill a tray with baking soda


3. Fill each ice cube tray (or other container) with vinegar. Add liquid watercolors to the vinegar so each child or group has a variety of colors to use.


4. Use a pipette or dropper to place a few drops of the colored vinegar onto the tray of baking soda. Watch what happens!


Science and Art for Kids: Colorful Chemical Reactions


5. Continue exploring with other colors.

Each group of students was absolutely enthralled with this activity! They loved watching the chemical reactions take place and hypothesized about what would happen as they added different colors.


Science and Art for Kids: Colorful Chemical Reactions


Once the tray was completely colored (about 25-30 minutes), they stood back and admired their finished creations. They were seriously so excited and asked if they could go around and see how everyone’s turned out!

After cleaning up, we sat down and read I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont. The kids loved how many of the illustrations in the book looked just like their colorful trays.


Science and Art for Kids: Colorful Chemical Reactions


You can find all kinds of STEM activities in our ebook! Find out more here or buy it now here!
Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids



  1. Chantal says:

    Try putting (sturdy) paper underneath the baking soda. Afterwards, you can brush off the baking soda and you’ll end up with a beautiful and colorful artwork. Use enough vinegar, so the liquid reaches the paper.

  2. Is it ok for the kids to touch and play with final product?

    • It’s safe to touch, but would hurt the eyes if it got in them. My kinders couldn’t resist getting their hands in it, but I wouldn’t children much smaller to go crazy with it. 🙂 This play sand would be a fun material for younger children.

  3. Does food coloring work instead of liquid water colors? Thanks!

  4. Last week we did this in our class with 3 and 4 year olds. They had a blast!
    thanks for the idea. Forrest

  5. p. Shawley says:

    Going to try a couple experiments with school agers this coming week.Thank you for the ideas as well as the simple ingredients.


  1. […] science activity encourages kids to explore colors with chemical reactions. It’s also a great way to develop fine motor […]

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