Fizzing Leprechaun Pots

Baking soda and Vinegar are my two most favorite science experiment ingredients! They are inexpensive, always in the pantry and there are just SO many fizzy, colorful things to do with them.  Here’s my latest version, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day but would also be so much fun as a witches’ brew at Halloween

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring (I love my liquid watercolors)
  • Candy Kettles (any party store has them seasonally)
  • Bin/tray for the mess
  • Glitter (I used gold and green for St. Patty’s Day)
  • Teats, gold coins, etc… to hide in the pots (not necessary)
  • Droppers
  • Cups for the vinegar

To set up:

I placed a few pots in the bin.  I placed one treasure (plastic gold coins) at the bottom and added 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda on top. I sprinkled a little glitter on top of baking soda because glitter is sparkly and so much fun!IMG_1148

Pour vinegar (Leprechaun Potion or Witch’s Potion) into small cups.  I used 6 different colors to create a rainbow.

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To play: 

I gave a small bin with a few pots inside to each of the tiny tots in my class.  I supplied them with a large dropper (more like a turkey baster-perfect for toddlers!)  And then the magic began!

IMG_1150They added their favorite colors to the pots and watched them bubble and fizz!  So easy!  So fun!  So colorful!

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That’s IT!  See, you can do this at home too!  And the little ones love it!  Adapt it for Halloween by placing plastic eyeballs, spooky fingers, creepy spiders, etc… for a spooky witches’ brew!  Or use plastic easter egg halves like I did with my Fizzing Easter Eggs experiment.  Or place some baking soda in a hollowed out mini pumpkin and make Pumpkin Volcanoes or into apples for Apple Volcanoes!  So many options!

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For more St. Patrick’s Day and Leprechaun Science, please visit:

Science Behind the Activity:

This is a twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When combined, they release carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles).  The fizzing and bubbles are just way too much fun for the kiddos!

Here’s where I got my fizzy idea from: http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/st-patricks-day-fizzing-pots-science-experiment-color-mixing-activity/

 

 

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Rainbow Fizzing Tray

Baking Soda and Vinegar are by far the BEST two ingredients you can have on stock for setting up some fun science explorations.  This Rainbow Fizzing Tray is EASY set up and clean-up and can keep your little ones busy for quite a while.  The tots in my classes kept wanting to do this one OVER and OVER!  And an added benefit: it makes beautiful designs!  Science and Art all in one!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Small tray/plate or cookie sheet
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring (We use liquid watercolors)
  • Droppers
  • 3-6 empty cups (or an ice cube tray)

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Add enough baking soda to your tray to cover the bottom.

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Pour vinegar in your cups and add food coloring to create your desired colors.  We used the six rainbow colors but even just the 3 primary colors will yield some beautiful results and can be a lesson on color mixing.  You can also use an ice cube tray.

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Hand your child the tray and a dropper and let them add the colors to the tray and experience the fun rainbow fizzing and eruptions!

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Drips and fizzing and bubbles and colors!

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Perfect for toddlers as well as preschoolers.

How pretty are some of the designs the tots created?

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The Science Behind the Activity:

I love activities like this because they are open ended and require no instructions for kids.  The baking soda and vinegar react in a classic acid/base reaction to release carbon dioxide gas which is responsible for the fun eruptions and bubbles.  Using droppers helps strengthen those little fingers in preparation for writing as well as developing fine motor skills.  Mixing different colors is a lesson in color mixing and experimentation.  Just SO MUCH learning to be had from a simple little tray.

For more fizzing science experiments, click on the links below:

Purple Potion Reactions (Cabbage Juice Indicator)

I’ve been wanting to do this simple kitchen science experiment with my kids for awhile now as I used to do this with my middle school students once upon a long time ago…This one is fantastic for superheroes of ALL ages.   The younger ones can enjoy the colorful reactions and the older ones can learn a bit about acids and bases and how pH indicators work.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Red Cabbage (Why is it called red when it really looks purple??)
  • Large Pot
  • Strainer
  • Ice Cube Tray (or several small clear cups/jars)
  • Droppers (I save the ones we get from the pharmacist everytime one of my superheroes needs meds)
  • Coffee Filters (optional)
  • Household liquids to test (water, vinegar, lemon juice, fruit juice, milk, baking soda/water, soda, laundry detergent, liquid soap, ammonia, etc…)

To make the Purple Potion:

Coarsely chop up half a head of cabbage.

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Place it into a large pot and add water.  I added about 5 cups of water to mine.

Bring the cabbage/water mixture to a boil and then let simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  Make sure you have your exhaust fan on and your windows open.  This gets stinky 🙂

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Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature so that it doesn’t burn your little ones.  Once cool, strain the mixture so that only the purple liquid is left.  Discard the cabbage.

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I ended up with about 4 cups of Purple Potion.  Now we are ready to experiment!

IMG_1476To Experiment:

I placed an ice cube tray in front of each of the Superheroes.  I placed a variety of liquids from the kitchen into several wells of the tray.  We used: water, milk, lemon juice, liquid soap, baking soda (dissolved in water), vinegar, apple juice, liquid soap and laundry detergent.

I had them color in what the liquids looked like before we started.

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This is the observation sheet they used:

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Each superhero got a small cup of Purple Potion in a cup and a dropper.

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They added several drops of the purple potion to each well and observed the changes.

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Whoa!  Look at all those colors!  Why is it doing that?

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Here are the final results:

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I asked them what might happen if they start mixing some of the liquids together.  A whole new set of experiments to do!

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My older son made a pink concoction and said it looked like “antibiotics”! (Can you tell how sick we’ve been this past winter! )

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With my older son, I probed him on what the pink colored liquids had in common and what the blue colored liquids had in common.  I think this was a bit over the top for a 6 yr old and he really was a bit lost at what to say.  If you have older kids, definitely ask.  The goal is to see if they can come up with some common characteristics of acids and bases. (Even my middle school students used to struggle with this)

Extension:

I decided to try to make my own indicator paper with some of the Purple Potion.  I placed 4 coffee filters in a container and added some Purple Potion to it.

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I soaked the filters overnight. Make sure to use an airtight container with a lid or your kitchen will stink in the morning!

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Remove the paper from the liquid and let dry completely.  I left mine outside to dry in the sun.

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Cut into strips and you’re all set!

Instead of using droppers to test the liquids, you can dip the indicator paper into the liquids and see the paper change colors.

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And then they placed it on their observation sheet to compare with their previous results

IMG_1509Science Behind the Activity:

Cabbage juice acts as a pH indicator.  Without getting too deep into the chemistry of it all, substances that are acidic (pH between 0-7) will turn varying shades of pink/red when mixed with cabbage juice,  Substances that are basic (pH between 7-14) will turn varying shades of green-ish/blue when mixed with cabbage juice. There are several types of indicators that are used for different purposes. Litmus paper is specially treated paper that turns red in the presence of an acid and blue in the presence of a base.  By treating the filter paper with cabbage juice, you can create a simple version of indicator paper.  There are also several different types of indicator paper as well, many that can give you an approximate pH of the substance being tested so that you can tell just how acidic or how basic the substance is.

 

Fizzing Easter Eggs

The tiny tots in my class LOVE baking soda and vinegar experiments and I’ve posted several different variations of them.  Here’s my latest version, just in time for Easter.  So grab an extra pack of eggs at the dollar store and set up this fun experiment in a few minutes!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda (Bunny Powder!)
  • Vinegar (Bunny Juice!)
  • Food coloring (I love my liquid watercolors)
  • Plastic Easter eggs (I have amassed a large collection over the years)
  • Muffin Pan or styrofoam egg carton (cardboard will leak and make a mess)
  • Glitter (because sparkles are FUN)
  • Droppers (I use the ones I get from the pharmacy with my kids’ medications)
  • Cups for the vinegarIMG_1244

To set up:

I placed a dozen halves of plastic easter eggs in my muffin tin.  (You can also use a styrofoam egg container but don’t use the cardboard ones.  Once the vinegar gets added, you will have a leaky mess)I placed about 1/2 tsp of baking soda into each egg and sprinkled some glitter on top.  You could also add some foam bunnies or beads or anything else for some extra fun!

Pour vinegar (Bunny Juice) into small cups.  I used 6 different colors to create a rainbow.  Kids love choosing different colors.

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To play: 

I placed a muffin tin with the eggs in front of each of the tiny tots in my class.  The colored vinegar was ready for them to play with droppers.  The tots already know what to do with the droppers at this point 🙂

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They added their favorite colors to the eggs and watched them bubble and fizz!  So easy!  So fun!  So colorful!

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That’s IT!  See, you can do this at home too!  And the little ones love it!  Adapt it for any seasonal occasion as I did with my Fizzing Leprechaun Pots for St. Patrick’s Day, Fizzing Christmas Trees or as Pumpkin Volcanoes for Halloween.

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 Science Behind the Activity:

This is a twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When combined, they release carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles).  The fizzing and bubbles are just way too much fun for the kiddos!

Here’s where I got my fizzy idea from: http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/fizzy-eggs-easter-baking-soda-science-experiment/

Magic Leprechaun Rocks

Lucky the Leprechaun is always up to some sort of mischief and this year he left some magical rocks!  Part of the fun was looking for the rocks and part of the fun was trying to break open the rocks with the “Magical Leprechaun Potion”!  Just 2 simple kitchen ingredients and some gold coins/rocks are all you need!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Tray for drying the rocks
  • Gold coins (I got mine from the dollar store)
  • Vinegar
  • Green food coloring (optional – but colors make everything more fun!!)

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To make the magic rocks:

Combine 2 cups of baking soda and 1/2 cup of water (add some color to the water if you want colored rocks) in a large bowl.  Mix together well with your hands.  It will be crumbly.

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Using your hands, make a rock shape with the mixture.  If it’s too dry, it won’t stay together, if it’s too watery, it will melt into a sloppy puddle.  Hide your coin inside the rock.IMG_1109

Let them dry overnight.  I placed mine on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They will be delicate when wet.IMG_1111 The next morning, the rocks were hard.  Be careful, they break easily (I will have to tweak the recipe a bit to make them a bit more durable).  Note: this recipe will yield about 10 rocks.

To play: 

That naughty Leprechaun left the rocks in our backyard for the boys to find.

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The boys were excited to hunt for the Leprechaun rocks! The boys grabbed one rock each and were very eager to break them open.

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This was the first casualty.

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The next rock was placed in a plastic bin.  I gave them both some droppers and some green Leprechaun Potion (Vinegar with some green food coloring) to pour over the rocks.

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Bubbles and fizzing!!!  They LOVED it!!

Aha!  I see something shiny inside!

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Such an easy and simple little experiment to set up with a St. Patrick’s Day twist.  The variations on this are endless: dinosaur eggs with dinosaurs hidden inside, Easter eggs with a little prize inside, etc…

Science Behind the Activity:

This is a twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When combined, they release carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles).  The fizzing and bubbles are just way too much fun for the kiddos!

Here’s where I got my fizzy idea from: giftofcuriosity.com

Extension:

With the broken rock, we added the crumbly powder to a small “pot of gold” that I had out for my Fizzing Leprechaun Pots activity.

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The boys used the leftover magic potion to create a bubbly green potion in the pot.

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How did your Magic rocks turn out?  Any tricks to make them more durable?  Let me know in the comments!

Pumpkin Volcano

So who doesn’t love a little vinegar and baking soda action?  Here’s an easy twist on the classic “volcano” experiment, just in time for Halloween.  So, while you are picking out your pumpkins, grab a small sugar pumpkin and let your little ones have some explosive fun!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Small Pumpkin (I used sugar pumpkins that were 2/$1 at our local produce stand but you can also use the small decorative pumpkins too)
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring/liquid water colors (optional – but everything is so much more fun with colors!)
  • Small cup (optional)
  • Syringes and droppers (optional-my kids love using these!)
  • Dish/Container to place the pumpkin in to catch the “eruption”

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First, cut the top of the pumpkin out and scoop out the seeds.

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Mini Decorative Pumpkin

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Sugar Pie Pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tried the experiment by adding our “chemicals” directly into the pumpkins, but the baking soda started clumping up after awhile and it was hard to clean them out in between students.

So, we cut off the top of a small plastic cup so that it fits inside the pumpkin.  This is optional but we found that it was easier for repeating the experiment if there was a cup inside.  It is by no means necessary.

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Next, we poured some vinegar into a cup.  My superheroes chose to add red liquid watercolor to make “vampire’s blood”.  For my science class, I had 6 rainbow colors for the tots to choose from.

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Add a teaspoon of baking soda into the pumpkin

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Then add some vinegar (vampire’s blood!).  My superheroes love using droppers.

IMG_2338Watch your pumpkin-cano erupt!

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Repeat as many times as your superheroes want to do it.  We went through a box of baking soda between the two older ones!

In my Tiny Tot class, I gave each child a tray with cups of colored vinegar and baking soda for them to do some free play

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When I did this with my son’s Kindergarten class, we added some spiders and plastic eyeballs for some extra fun.

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The Science behind the activity:

This is a classic acid-base reaction.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When they combine, they create a chemical reaction where the baking soda neutralizes the vinegar.  A by-product of the reaction is carbon dioxide.  That is what the bubbles are.  As the carbon dioxide is formed and bubbles out, it carries some liquid up with it, hence the “eruption”.

Extension: 

There are a million ways to do this experiment.  I can pretty much adapt this to any theme.  Another great fall theme application of this is the Apple-cano, which we also did.  This time the superheroes chose “green slime” as the color of the eruption.

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For other fun Pumpkin and Halloween related science activities, try:

 

Milk Rainbows

Want to explore some fun with colors?  Here’s a great one and I’m sure you have the 3 ingredients needed for this one at home.  Little ones will love watching the colors swirl around.  Older kids can easily set this up as investigation comparing the effect of different types of milk.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Milk (We used 2% because that’s what we drink at home)
  • Dish soap
  • Food coloring
  • Pie pan or small baking dish (we used disposable aluminum pie pans)
  • Q-tips or toothpicks (optional but fun for little ones)

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Add about 1/2  inch of milk to the pan/dish

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Add 1 drop each of different colors of dye near the center of the dish but not in the middle.

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Add a drop of dish soap in the center of the cluster of dye dots and watch the colors run away!

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Sometimes you can add another drop of dish soap and get the colors to spread more.  Sometimes not.

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Let the little ones use Q-tips or toothpicks to swirl and mix the colors around in pretty patterns.

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The Science behind the Activity:

Milk is made up of fat and protein molecules. Dish soap has the unique properties of attracting fat molecules and water molecules (It is both hydophyllic-water loving, and hydrophobic-water fearing). When the soap is added to the milk, it breaks up the fat and water molecules in the milk. As the fat molecules move around, they disrupt the food coloring causing the colors to move, swirl and mix.

Extension: Try this experiment comparing the behavior of different types of milk: whole, 2% and skim.  Why would the fat content affect or not affect this experiment?

Follow this link to see where I got the idea from and a much more technical explanation about the experiment: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/milk-color-explosion