Classic science experiments for kids tend to have one thing in common. They’re simple.
In most cases, these easy experiments require only a few basic materials, and have minimal directions. The best part, is they get kids excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts, and inspire a lifelong love of learning. It’s no wonder these classics are passed down from one generation to another.
This experiment is a variation of the traditional baking soda and vinegar reaction, that many of us remember from our days in elementary school. I vividly recall creating a volcano from clay, and then using baking soda and vinegar to cause an eruption. So much fun, and a fantastic introduction to chemistry!
Science doesn’t have to be complicated, and this Balloon Blow Up experiment is proof. I’ve done this project with various age groups, both at home with my own kids, as well as in the classroom as an educator, and it always gets the same reaction from kids – they love it!
Gather the necessary supplies, and use a funnel to add a few spoonfuls of baking soda to a balloon.
Next, use the funnel to add vinegar to an empty bottle. About 2 inches in the bottom of the bottle should be enough, but allow children to experiment with varying amounts, to see how it alters the results.
Secure the balloon to the bottle, being careful not to let the baking soda mix with the vinegar until you’re ready.
Ask the children to predict what might happen when the baking soda and vinegar combine. Have them write their hypothesis down, creating documentation of their thought process.
Be sure to use science vocabulary, such as hypothesis, reaction, and result. It’s important for early learners to understand these terms associated with science. Plus, it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever to hear a young child say the word “hypothesis.”)
When you’re ready, slowly allow the baking soda to fall into the bottle, where it will quickly react with the vinegar to inflate the balloon.
We’ve done this experiment many times, and it’s always a hit. My kids love to explore with different amounts of baking soda and vinegar, attempting to get more dramatic results.
Their favorite, is when the reaction is so powerful that it backs up into the balloon, and requires them to hold on tightly so as not to allow the balloon to fly off of the bottle.
This was the biggest they’re ever gotten the balloon. It almost reached the point where it was ready to pop. So much excitement!
Such a fantastic science experiment, that allows children of all ages to explore everyday materials in a whole new way.
Looking for more science fun? Check out our Science Activities board on Pinterest.