Preschool Experiment: Baking Soda and Vinegar!

I’ve decided that this year I’m going to start some preschool level homeschooling with my three year old. We are still debating having her start preschool in the fall, or waiting another year, but I definitely want to start some specific ‘school’ activities at home! I’ve already sat down and planned out the month of March, and I’m using February to prep, and occasionally do some specific activities with her.

This week I decided to set up a mini science experiment. Super basic, super cheap, and most importantly lots of fun for her! First, I got our supplies:

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  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Squirt bottle
  • Cookie sheet

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Then I spread out a thin layer of baking soda in the cookie sheet – just enough to cover the bottom. Then, the questions began. First I asked her what she though would happen when we added in drops of food coloring. She told me that it would turn colors – go logic haha! She instructed me where to put each drop of food coloring (I’m not ready to hand over a bottle of food coloring yet!) and then the fun began.

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Before we started, I asked her what she thought would happen when she started squirting on the vinegar. She told me she thought it would change color. I thought that was a good guess! Definitely a logical jump.

She started squirting it on very delicately at first, just a little drip on each drop of color. You could see the wonder as she watched it fizz up – she kept exclaiming, “Fizzy bubble colors!” with a little giggle.

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Then she really started getting into it and squeezing out a lot of vinegar to make big fizzy sections. Once the bottle was empty, I poured some vinegar into a measuring cup so she could see the difference between dumping it on and squirting it in a line. She definitely preferred the squirt bottle!

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I put a little more vinegar in the squirt bottle for her and she kept at it, making sure to soak and fizz every available spot.

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Then I gave her a butter knife so she could draw in the paste we had created. She loved swirling all the colors together (despite the fact that when you mix all food coloring together, it makes a sickly green – didn’t seem to bother her). Finally, she declared that her drawing was done, and we left it to dry.

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I asked her again what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar to which she replied, “It makes fizzies!”. I figure we’ll wait a couple years before explaining chemical reactions!

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