Here is a fun, easy and inexpensive activity to do with your young children. With winter right around the corner, this indoor activity makes a great snow day science project! The supplies you need are commonly found around your house.
You will need:
- Shallow pans, one for each child (a metal or foil cake pan works well)
- Small plastic cups
- Baking soda (not baking powder)
- Food coloring
- Medicine dropper (your pharmacist might give you these for free)
- Towel for covering the table
Pour 2 to 4 ounces of vinegar in each cup. Add food coloring to each cup. Pour a layer of baking soda into the pan. Now let your child use the medicine dropper to drip vinegar onto the soda. The soda is a base and the vinegar is an acid. When combined, a chemical reaction occurs, forming carbonic acid and carbon dioxide. Or more simply, fabulous fizz! Your child can also scoop the soda into a pile or put it into a cup to create a volcano.
If you have a 2 or 3 year old, you may have to teach the dip/squeeze/lift/release technique for using a medicine dropper. If your child has trouble using the medicine dropper, let him or her use a small spoon instead.
What will your child learn?
Squeezing a medicine dropper exercises and strengthens the group of small muscles in the hand that will be needed later to cut with a scissors, hold a pencil, etc. This activity can also teach colors and color mixing.
The plastic bulb on the medicine dropper comes off and could be a choking hazard. Provide supervision.