Welcome back to Science Invitation Saturday where we focus on fun science for kids to promote curiosity and critical thinking. Last week we explored sinking and floating, and today we’re going to have fun creating a chemical reaction with baking soda and vinegar!
- containers to hold the liquid (We used glass jars.)
- white vinegar
- dish soap
- baking soda
- food coloring
- glitter (optional)
- Find an area to conduct your experiment. It’s going to get messy! The best place for us to do ours was outside on our backyard deck. (Once we were done, clean-up was easy! All we had to do was pick up the materials and then hose the deck down.)
- Place all your materials out where they are easily accessible to your child.
- Help your child fill the containers 1/2-3/4 of the way full of vinegar.
- Color the vinegar with food coloring.
5. Throw in some glitter for some added sparkly fun! (optional)
6. Add a generous squeeze of dish soap to each container and stir.
7. This would be a good time to move all your previously used materials (glitter containers, food coloring etc.) out of the way so they don’t get all messy.
8. Make predictions about what will happen once the baking soda is added.
9. Add a generous spoonful of baking soda to each container and observe.
- Definitely stay and observe your child, but don’t be afraid to let them take control of the experiment. Lucy had so much fun making predictions and then finding out what would happen. Some of the things I heard from her: “Mom, I wonder if it will make more bubbles if I add more baking soda?” “I’m going to try mixing the colors! Maybe I can make purple!” “I’m going to put more soap in this one and see if it makes more bubbles.” “I wonder why the bubbles won’t come all the way out of the yellow jar. I want to try to make them come out.”
- Before you clean up, let your child have some fun playing with their mess! Lucy loved how the glittery concoction felt when she stomped her feet in it. (The soap can make the resulting liquid slippery, so be cautious if you are on a hard surface.)
What’s Going On:
A chemical reaction has occurred! Combining the vinegar (an acid) with the baking soda (a base) results in an entirely new substance, carbon dioxide.
Want to go even further?
Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.