I have to admit I was pretty impressed myself the first time I saw this experiment A balloon, a plastic bottle, and a simple chemical reaction makes for some busy and happy kids. Those kinds of preschool science experiments are my favorite- entertaining, educational, and inexpensive! You need just a few simple supplies to amaze and impress your kids, and maybe yourself a little.
You will need:
1 empty soda or water bottle
Before beginning the experiment ask your child to make an educated guess (hypothesize) about what will happen when the two ingredients are combined. This is great for building critical thinking skills and encourage their curiosity.
1. Fill your bottle about ⅓ full with vinegar.
2. Use a funnel inserted in the neck of your balloon to fill it halfway with baking soda, this is fun for little ones but can get messy. However it is a really easy clean up so let your little scientist be truly hands on!
3. Stretch the neck of the balloon over the neck of the bottle, keeping the baking soda away from the opening.
4. When you are ready to see the reaction have them lift the balloon and gently shake it to drop the baking soda into the bottle of vinegar.
Within seconds your balloon is inflating before your eyes.
Try the experiment with different amounts of vinegar, different types of vinegar, more or less baking soda and see what happens, is the reaction different? Faster? Slower?
Here is a little of the science behind why this works-
The two ingredients, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid and water), combined together create a carbon dioxide gas that fills the balloon with air. The baking soda is a base and the vinegar is an acid that when put together causes the molecules that each is made up of to react this way.