I’m all about science here, I think it’s a blast. Especially the little experiments you can do with your kids. One of my favorites is the mixing of baking soda and vinegar. For the littlest of littles it’s a great lesson in cause and effect. And of course the bigger kids can learn a little more chemistry and double replacement and acid base reactions. This is also one fun experiment to build on. Start small, and then build a rocket powered by baking soda and vinegar. Or of course, the ever popular erupting volcano!! No childhood is complete without at least one volcano!
For our experiment today, we went simple. An old empty 20 ounce soda bottle, a balloon, some baking powder and some vinegar. Before we started the kids and I talked about air, and the fact that there can be lots of things in air including carbon dioxide. My kids are little, so we didn’t have to get into what carbon dioxide is, or where it comes from really, just that it exists. Then we got to talk about gasses in general. Really basic stuff, honestly. The fun part. Pour a small amount of vinegar into a small dish. Then let your kids sprinkle in some baking soda. Your kids will think that you are amazing. Then tell your kids that you want to trap the gas. Put some vinegar into the soda bottle, and baking soda into the balloon. Place the lip of the balloon around the rim of soda bottle, carful to not spill any banking soda inside. Then let your kids pour in the baking soda. Stand back and watch the balloon fill up. How full it gets will depend on how much baking soda and vinegar you use, which I think is a fun part of the experiment too. You can retest until you get it all the way full.
Whatever you choose, have fun and see how much your kids (and maybe you too) can learn!
– Stephanie Wright