The concept of reactions could provide a topic of study that could span a whole year! Chemical reactions, physical reactions, emotional reactions. It’s all about that important question, “What would happen if…?” Here are a few of my favorite science activities for fizzing, foaming, popping reactions that are sure to keep kids enthralled and provide plenty of opportunities for learning through questions, experimentation, and play!
Can you blow up a balloon with a chemical reaction? Use a small measuring spoon to put baking soda inside a balloon. Attach the balloon to a small mouthed bottle with vinegar inside. (The one I used here was an olive oil bottle, so it had a nice small spout at the top.) Lift the balloon and shake the baking soda into the vinegar and watch the magic! Measurements will vary based on the size of your bottle. You may want to experiment with your measurements before doing this with the kiddos to make sure you get enough to blow up the balloon but not so much that you overflow.
When my four year-old asked if I could “make” any more fireworks for the Fourth of July, I pulled out one of my favorite activities, Film Canister Rockets. These are safe enough you could launch them from the palm of your hand, yet they’re exciting enough to keep a crowd of about six kids content on the Fourth of July at our house. Experiment with quantities to see what makes them launch higher. Find the details for your launch here.
Add a little intrigue to your regular soda and vinegar experiment by hiding a little color to be revealed by your little mad scientists during the chemical reaction. Check out this post for more details, as well as several ideas for using this activity.
Paint that fizzes! This is a fun activity found over at Quirky Momma’s blog that promises to be loads of fun. (Just pay more attention to the directions than I did. The water should be warm, almost hot. Not hot, almost boiling. If your water is too hot, it sets off some of the fizzing a little too early!)
If you’re looking for more foaming, frothing reactions, try a dry ice experiment like my friend Rachelle over at Tinker Lab! All kinds of exploratory, open-ended play going on over there!
So whether you’ve got a mad scientist, a magic-seeking Potter-phile, or kids who just enjoy a little excitement, try out one of these fun reactions soon!
What’s your favorite way to explore reactions in science?