This was a fun, snowy day activity for our family. Kids get to be a little crazy when they’re cooped up in the house during a snow storm! Mom and dad can quickly follow suit if you can’t shake things up. This was a simple thing to do, and I had all of the requirements on hand. If I did, I’m sure you will too.
All you need for this fun little activity is a plastic bottle, like a soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar and balloons. You start by filling the bottle about 1/3 of the way up with vinegar. The next step was a little interesting to figure out, but Tony and I made it work. You need to put baking soda in the balloon, we filled it about half way (half of an empty balloon is a few tablespoons). I held the balloon open with both hands while Tony put in the baking soda. Next step is to stretch the balloon opening around the bottle opening without spilling any of the baking soda. A little tricky, but possible!
The next part goes fast so be sure everyone is paying attention, even though I’m sure you’ll do this multiple times. Once everyone is watching, flip the balloon up so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar. The reaction is fast and intense. I’ve always loved the way these two elements interact. If you want to get science-y you can tell your kids this is called a double replacement reaction. It’s the same chemical combination you would use to make “lava” for the science experiment volcanos.
Sadly this doesn’t make helium, which would’ve been the coolest ever, but it will inflate fast! My kids were giggling like mental patients every time we did this. We went through almost a half a bag of balloons before I decided that was enough vinegar for the day. Since Pinterest has taken over my life I’ve started buying vinegar by the gallon! We did play a bit of a guessing game to find the right vinegar-to-baking soda ratio. Some of the combinations barely inflated the balloon and others bubbled the solution into the balloon. It doesn’t really matter if it bubbles up, it will all settle back down.
Enjoy your own experiments with your family! Remember it’s just a good time for everyone!
Original idea came from http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2012/01/blow-it-up-exploring-gas-with-balloons.html