Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fun with the Kiddo's! Fizzy Exploding Science!


Happy Wednesday!  We've had a busy day... started off with a playground trip, then swim lessons and onto Storytime at the Smiley Library finished off with cousin Aidan coming back to our house to play!  Phew!  And that was all before noon! 

And while we are pretty good at filling our time with fun, kid centered activities, sometimes I like to do a kitchen science experiment - combining learning and play is one of our favorite things!

Fizzy Exploding Bags! 

I found this idea on Pinterest (shocker, I know) and checked out this site for the instructions.  Now, there is a scientific lesson here, but for the two 4 year olds in my life, we just kept it simple - the lesson was that mixing different ingredients from our kitchen creates reactions!  We did go over what a reaction is, starting off with if you hit someone, it hurts them the hurt is the reaction.  We then changed it into reactions in nature and cooking reactions.  My main goal was to get them to understand the idea of a reaction.  They did pretty good.

Here's what we did...

I prepped everything before involving the boys.

I tore a paper towel into a rough 5" square.  You didn't have to be super precise.

I put 1 1/2 Tablespoon of baking soda on the center of the square.  I folded the towel so that it was like an envelope.  This was the Time Release Capsule.

I had 2 Ziploc sandwich bags (we only had freezer ones, I think regular would've worked better) and labeled each one - one said Adam and the other said Aidan - we're very particular with ownership around here!  I measured out 1/2 Cup Vinegar and let each boy pour 1/2 C into their plastic bag.  I then measured out 1/4 C warm water for each boy and let them pour it into their bag.

I then helped each boy put their Time Release Capsule into the bags.  You have to be quick with this, you don't want to let the air/fizz escape from the bag after you drop the capsule in!  So, I sealed the plastic bag but then opened it up just enough so that each boy could drop their capsule in and we resealed immediately... My brother came to pick up my nephew during this part, but it was hard to do this with 2 excited boys on my own... Hence the horrible photos...

Here were a few of our experiment mistakes...

1. While we were adding Adam's capsule, Aidan's bag tipped over and spilled, letting out some of the vinegar/water mix that was inside.

2.  I used a whole paper towel for each capsule - I guess I need to read instructions better next time!

3.  Adam didn't seal his bag all the way, so he lost a lot of air and fizz.

4.  Trying to document the experiment and help the boys was a mistake on my part - I should've just focused on them!

So, the bags are supposed to fill with air and either explode or shoot off... since we used the freezer sandwich bags, our bags were too strong and wouldn't explode or shoot off.  I let the boys shake the bags to keep the reaction going, but once they were done, I let the boys squeeze and explode them and I think it was more fun for them this way!  They've wanted to do it again and again.  We've talked about what caused the reaction... Was there a reaction when we mixed the vinegar and water?  Was there a reaction when we added the Time Release Capsules?  What happened to the bags?  What do you think they filled up with?  Etc. 

So, that's it!  Kitchen science is fun!  And baking soda is a fantastic ingredient - I have another baking soda experiment planned for tomorrow!

Have fun!

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