A while ago I wrote an article about Spring Break Boredom where I mentioned doing some at home science experiments with your kids. I had wanted to write a follow up article shortly after I wrote that one providing some directions for some easy experiments, but life has a way of getting in the way and I never got around to it. So I am trying to make up for it now.
There are several experiments that use vinegar and baking soda as ingredients. Some of them are quite intensive though. We have done a couple of baking soda and vinegar experiments at home and with our Girl Scout troop. I have picked a couple of really simple ones here to share with you. These are both simple and require only things that most people already have in their homes.
If you are looking for something really quick and easy yet cool, go for the second experiement.
Remember the Brady Bunch episode where one of the boys had to make a Volcano as a science project? Well if you have ever wondered how that was done you may be quite surprised that it is much easier than you might imagine. You may also be surprised that you have every thing you need to do it right there in your own home already.
You can do the full volcano effect complete with a paper mache volcano, and if you wish to do that you will need to find directions on how to make the volcano part. I am just instructing you on how to create the lava effect. So if you just want the affect of the volcano you can observe that in a small individual soda bottle or even a small Gaterade type bottle. If you have a sand box you can make a mound out of the sand, and stick an empty clean orange juice can into the sand, or even any kind of empty can or bottle, of course one end should be opened and removed, and one end should still be intact.
No matter how you choose to do this little volcano experiment you will want to either work out doors or be prepared to clean up a mess.
After you decide if you are going for the full volcano effect or if you just want to see the lava effect in a bottle you will need to gather up a few items from your kitchen. You will need:
¼ Cup baking soda
½ Cup water
½ Cup Vinegar
¼ Cup Dishwashing detergent (liquid)
A couple of drops of Food coloring (If you are working on a surface where you are afraid of staining you can leave out the food coloring.)
Pour the Vinegar, water, dishwashing detergent, and food coloring in to the bottle or can. When you are ready for the eruption to begin you pour the baking soda using a funnel into the rest of the ingredients.
Watch as the ingredients fuse together and begin to erupt. It makes a really cool effect.
Blow Up a Balloon
We actually did this experiment with our Girl Scout Troop when they were Brownies. It is very simple but still quite cool.
You will need:
1/2 cup Vinegar
1/4 cup Baking Soda
1 Balloon (not blown up)
1 single serving soda bottle, or any bottle that is fatter at the bottom but thin at the top.
Pour the vinegar in to the bottle. Then pour the baking soda in to the bottle. Quickly place the opened part of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.
The carbon dioxide gas created by the combination of the vinegar and baking soda will blow up the balloon. It is pretty cool to watch.