Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fizzy Fun

According to Pinterest, I saved this idea 32 weeks ago, and we just got around to trying it yesterday. I'm not sure why I waited so long. It is quick to prep for, doesn't require many materials, and I don't think it cost more than a few cents (except for purchasing some eye droppers, which I know will get plenty of use). I don't know if this activity counts as science or art, or both, but it was pretty fun for my little man. I guess you could even argue that this helps develop fine motor skills because he was concentrating very hard while working with the eye droppers. Dropping colored vinegar onto the baking soda elicited lots of "Wow" reactions for 15 minutes. Truthfully, I was hoping this would entertain him for a bit longer, but being a boy, he had to find out what would happen when he dumped ALL of the vinegar into the cake pan of baking soda. At that point, he exclaimed, "Whoa! That BIG bubble is so cool!" 

{Note the tongue sticking out, the sure sign that a kid is hard at work!}

  • cake pan or clear glass baking dish
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • food coloring
  • muffin tin
  • eye droppers
  • tablecloth (optional)
  • towels/washcloths/paper towels, etc. for spills
  1. Fill your cake pan or baking dish with a shallow layer of baking soda.
  2. Fill your muffin tin cups mostly full of vinegar. (We used a 6-cup mini muffin pan and I filled 5 of the 6 cups. The empty cup we used as a place for resting eye droppers.)
  3. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to each cup of vinegar. Stir to mix. I think I just used the eye droppers for this, but spoons work, too, of course.
  4. Let your child use eye droppers to drop the colored vinegar onto the baking soda for fizzy fun.
A Few Notes:
  • This is not a mess-free activity. We prepped by laying a vinyl tablecloth on the table. Then, we dressed Little Man in his paint shirt, an old t-shirt of mine that we close at the back of the neck with a clothespin. His hands got stained with the food coloring, which is not a big deal. It washes off eventually, but just be aware that this will almost certainly happen.
  • We had one eye dropper at home, and I think it was purchased from a natural foods store. The other four eye droppers I just purchased this week at our local small-town grocery store. They are smaller and I found them near the checkout along with other candy making supplies. The four-pack cost $2.99, which I felt was reasonable enough.
  • If you do not have food coloring, get some. It is very inexpensive, and you can do so many things with it. I recently found that the Kroger brand packages of four colors were on sale for $2.99. This is the time of year to find it on sale, with Easter on the way. I am planning to do a post soon about all of the different projects we have done using food coloring, so stay tuned for that.
  • Don't have eye droppers? Check your medicine cabinet. You might have a dosing syringe or something left over from some oral medication. Or, see what ever else you can find that will work, and feel free to share your thoughts.

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