My son is so into making vinegar and baking soda volcanoes. We have made these a few times. Today he was begging me to make one again. This time, I thought that maybe we could try something different that would be equally as cool AND we could still use the same basic ingredients. This is an easy activity to do using simple materials and ingredients found in your kitchen, and the results are pretty fascinating (especially for a 4 year old).
Materials that we used:
- empty water bottle
- white vinegar
- baking soda
- 3/4 cup measure
1. I had my son pour about 3/4 cup of vinegar into the bottle using the funnel.
2. After rinsing out the funnel, I poured baking soda into the balloon, filling it up. Make sure you stretch out the balloon first! I used the funnel and a skewer as tools to aid the process (see picture above).
3. I carefully sealed the opening of the balloon onto the bottle. I made sure the contents of the balloon didn't spill into the bottle during this step.
4. I then held the balloon up, while shaking the contents down into the balloon. Immediately the 2 ingredients formed a chemical reaction, releasing a gas, and the balloon started to inflate.
Bode thought it was so cool and wanted to do it again, and again!
Points I highlighted with him (keeping it simple for a 4 year old):
- When vinegar and baking soda are mixed together they create what is called a chemical reaction.
- A gas is formed (carbon dioxide) which takes up more space than the vinegar and baking soda. That is why the balloon inflates.
- The baking soda is a base while the vinegar is an acid. (See here for a definition and examples of other bases and acids)
- When vinegar and baking soda react together they form "carbonic acid". Carbonic Acid is very unstable and it instantly breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide. Fizzing is what happens when the water and carbon dioxide escape the solution.
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