Baking soda and vinegar reactions: Make Lava

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Kids love exploring and experiencing cause and effect. Last spring we had fun creating fizzing sidewalk paint where the kids and I painted our patio with sidewalk paint made from baking soda and then sprayed the paint with vinegar, watching and listening to the sizzles and pops.  This rainbow lava activity is an adaptation off of that morning. Baking soda, vinegar and dye – it is the perfect preschooler science project!
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Our experiment testing the reactions of a base and an acid:

Baking soda and vinegar activity
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We dripped food coloring into our tub and covered over the drips with baking soda.  The drops were “hidden” by the sodium-bicarbonate – it looked like a snowy white field.

{You probably have a container of baking soda that is ancient sitting in the back of the fridge? Go give it new life – while bringing oohs and aahs to your children’s faces.}

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Baking soda and vinegar activity
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After we had the colors adequately covered by the powder, we filled a cup with vinegar and grabbed some medicine droppers/syringes. It was so much fun to watch the colors emerge, pop and sizzle, from the white “space” of baking soda, eventually blending together. This is a great activity to explain chemistry and how some chemical opposites explode. Taste the baking soda, it’s salty (sodium – base), and the vinegar is sour (acid).
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A perk: When you are finished making rainbow lava – you can dump the mix down the drain it is a terrific drain cleaner – or you can dump it into your dishwasher to help get rid if the filmy buildup.  We have a post with other homemade cleaners,many of them are based on baking soda and or vinegar.
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What science projects have your kids enjoyed recently?

We would love to hear about it in the comments!  Other projects we have done include:

Exploring chemical reactions with our kids as we inflated a glove with gas (made from baking soda and vinegar!!)

We have also used the same ingredients to make raisins dance in this Baking Soda Experiment.

Rachel About Rachel

An original "Quirky Momma" blogger and "Mommy" to six kids under six, when Rachel is not wiping crayon off the walls or wading through laundry, she can be found exploring and creating with her kiddos. She hopes to be someone who acts justly, loves kindness and walks humbly before God (Micah 6:8).

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