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)


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


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.


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!


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:

Fizzing Christmas Trees

In our home (and with the Tiny Tots in my classes), baking soda and vinegar NEVER get old.  All the fizzing and bubbling and color changes make it a fun activity anytime.  So, how about making a few Fizzing Christmas Trees to get in the holiday spirit?  My superheroes and the Tiny Tots had a blast with these!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Paper plates cut in half
  • Glitter, Sequins, Beads, etc… (anything you’d like to mix in to your trees)
  • Vinegar
  • Green food coloring or green liquid watercolor
  • Bin to contain the mess


To make the fizzing Christmas Trees:

Add 2 cups of baking soda (about one 1lb box) to a large bowl.  Add glitter, beads, sequins (not necessary but always fun).  IMG_4477

Add the food coloring to 1/2 cup of water and place in the bowl.

IMG_4479 Mix together well with your hands.  It will be crumbly. If it’s too water/soupy, add more baking soda.


Cut a paper plate in half.  Roll it into a cone shape and tape the sides.

IMG_4482 Fill it with about half of the baking soda mixture, making sure to pack it in tightly to form a nice pointy top for your tree. (This recipe makes 2 trees)IMG_4481

Trim the bottom of the plate and flatten the top so that you don’t have leaning trees (like some of mine!)


Place in the freezer overnight to firm up the shape.

The next morning, the trees were very hard. Perfect!

To play: 

Unwrap the paper plate from the trees and place into a bin.  I added some baking soda on the bottom to look like snow.


I had my superheroes add a little “snow” to the trees.

I gave them 2 cups of “Elf Potion” (vinegar with red and green food coloring) and a dropper.  They knew EXACTLY what to do!


The instant the vinegar hit the trees, the fizzing and bubbling began.


As the trees “melted”, they found beads and sparkly glitter.  The older ones kept at it until the tress were all gone and a sloppy, glittery, goopy mess was left as evidence of some fun holiday science!


Bubbles and fizzing!!!  They LOVED it!!

Such an easy and simple little experiment to set up with a Christmas twist.  For more ideas on how to play with baking soda and vinegar throughout the year, check out my other fizzy activities:

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/melting-christmas-tree-baking-soda-science-sensory-play/