Do you have any idea how much my three year old loves to get messy? She loves nothing more than to dig her hands into something sticky, slimy, moldable, crumbly, dough-y, powdery, etc. – you name it, she’s probably interested. And let’s face it! Who can blame her? I would play with playdough all day if I can. Frankly, it’s pretty calming- kneading the dough and stretching the dough and squeezing the dough.
Anyway, this post centers around the chemical reaction that occurs when you mix an acid (vinegar) with a base (baking soda). The combination of these two reactants produces a lovely sizzling sound, as my three year old likes to call it! Oh and don’t forget the reaction also produces a bubbling effect, too. All the more fun!
Fun sensory play: baking soda & vinegar
I decided to start by adding about 1 inch of baking soda to a clear plastic shoe box. Then I filled a red squirt bottle with vinegar. First, I left the vinegar in its pure state. Next, I added a touch of red food coloring to produce “pink vinegar.” If you ask my daughters or me, pink anything is always better!
Sophia had so much fun playing with the reactants- individually and together. She loved squeezing the vinegar out of the bottle a lot! And kept going back for more vinegar, saying repeatedly that she “needed a lot more vinegar!”
She also loved pushing all the baking soda to one side of the box and making a little mountain of the baking soda. And then she needed to squirt vinegar on top of that, too!
She thoroughly enjoyed this little project / science experiment. I explained to her the science behind it a bit (I’m a chemical engineer after all), and I will probably need to whip out these ingredients again later this week to do this all over again. She’s been requesting a repeat of this science experiment a few times already!