Thursday, April 19, 2012

Science Experiment: "Sparkly Explosion!"



My daughter has been requesting science experiments that explode, sparkle, and use fire!  I love child-led learning because it helps cultivate a love for education and skills to learn independently in the future.  Science projects like this can also be a form of assessment because you can see exactly how your child is processing the information you have already taught.  This little gem is completely my daughter's creation, but we all loved it.  I hope you have as much fun with it as we did!  And don't worry--I have several more fiery experiments and demonstrations to put up soon!



Simple Supplies for a "Sparkly Explosion:"
  • vase
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • food coloring (we used neon red in the first picture and regular red in the rest)
  • blue glitter (this is very important, though you can use any color)
  • other supplies--see step 4. 
  • pan to contain the mess

The Easy How-To:
  1. Place 2-3 Tablespoons baking soda in the bottom of the vase.  Put the vase in the pan.
  2. Add 6-7 drops of food coloring and 1-2 teaspoons of glitter.
  3. Quickly pour in about 1/2 cup vinegar.  Watch for the sparkles!
  4. When the action is over, repeat the experiment, but this time let your child choose other supplies to add.  What does pepper look like in the "explosion?"  Does salt change anything?  Dishsoap? What about spaghetti noodles?  Remember this is not a demonstration, it is an experiment!  Let your child change the variables, predict what will happen, and enjoy the results!   





Explanation:
At some point during a science experiment like this, I review with my children that baking soda and vinegar react to make the explosion.  Older children can understand that baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid and mixing acids and bases makes a reaction.  They can also base their science projects in Step 4 on this knowledge.  My children are old enough to know that some things react when you mix them together.







Happy Educating, Carla

I may share at any of these parties!

27 comments:

  1. Explosion experiments are always the most fun. I have never added "sparkle" to ours. Thanks for the tip.

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  2. To be completely honest, I do not think I would have thought of it without my daughter! She does love sparkles, though!

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  3. Awesome... my daycare children will really enjoy this..thank you we are always looking for something different to experiment with.

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  4. Anonymous, My kids love experimenting and coming up with variations on experiments they're more familiar with! I hope you guys have a blast with it! ;)

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  5. This looks so fun! I want to be in your preschool class -- way more fun than the techy stuff I've been learning lately! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again next week!

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  6. Nice presentation! If you'd like to eliminate the vinegar smell, substitute a spoonful of citric acid crystals dissolved in a cup of water. For older kids, try using a digital thermometer (about 12 bucks at most 'big boxes') and watch the temperature of this Endothermic Reaction go down (counter-intuitive for most, this is a great opportunity to do some predicting)!

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  7. Charlene, it is a ton of fun! Thanks for hosting Busy Monday!

    Pow!Science, those are great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Even young children can touch the vase, notice its coolness, and contrast it to other reactions (like the Elephant Toothpaste). And I love the idea of citric acid crystals! I don't mind the vinegar smell, but I do like to let them repeat experiments with different variables...and there are so many other fun uses for citric acid too!

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  8. Love the vase you used, the brightness of the food coloring, and the addition of glitter. Fun! Pinned it to our Preschool Science Board, thanks for sharing :)

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  9. We normally don't keep anything but glitterglue in the house.. but this makes me want to make a trip out just to get some so that we can do this tomorrow. Nice idea!

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  10. Liz, thanks for pinning it!! It was all a very colorful combination!

    Alicia, I completely understand that! We actually got the blue glitter for another project and had some leftover...I totally think it's worth it!

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  11. I am so glad to see this site. As a retired hospital lab person and now grandma to 6, I am always looking for fun but interesting things to do when babysitting. Of course science was my favorite subject and I had a teacher that made it fun. I hope to do the same.

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  12. Thanks, Anon! I've always loved science too...I've taught it at several grade levels, and enjoyed each experience! I'm glad you stopped by!!

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  13. We love to do science experiments here at our house too! We do one just like this and use old plastic water bottles. My son calls it his volcanoes. Love the idea of adding glitter, we will try that out.

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  14. If you're a 44YO without kids, would it be acceptable to do this, just because? I totally want to have a little fun. :)

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  15. Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for this fun activity. My 2 year old loved it! Also, I posted a link to this activity on my blog.

    http://meandmysistersclosets.blogspot.com/2012/09/bean-school.html

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  16. Michelle, Aren't volcanoes just awesome! The glitter adds such a fun dimension, too!

    Of course, Lisa! It just means you're totally cool! ;) I daily find myself wondering who's having more fun...the kids or me!

    Hi Whitney! Thanks for sharing! I look forward to getting to know you better!

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  17. Thanks so much for this great idea! We did it here http://littlehomeschoolblessings.blogspot.com/2012/10/glitter-eruption.html?m=1 .

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  18. Fantastic fun! thanks - just pinned to pinterest too. My son had a blast, no pun - Deb

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  19. Bethany, that's wonderful! Thanks for sharing your link!

    Fabulous, Deb!! Thanks for sharing it too!

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  20. I heard somewhere that baking soda and vinigar was harmfull for kids and skin? What did you find while doing this experiment?

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  21. We didn't have food coloring so we used a pack of red koolaide and it worked great and instead of it smelling like vinegar it smelled more like strawberries.

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  22. I'm a science summer camp teacher and I found this post shared on Facebook. What a hoot of an idea! I'll be stopping by a thrift shop for a box of glass vases to do this - and I especially love the idea of using a pack of koolaid! Women and moms are so creative and awesome! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  23. oh, and for the person wondering if the vinegar and baking soda was harmful to skin - baking soda is just a form of salt, so it irritates small cuts or dries out skin a touch. Vinegar is an acid, but a mild one. If you'd worry about the child spilling pickle juice on themselves, that's about the same kind of mixture. Super fun, almost no worries.

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  24. Danika, I love how Koolaid smells in experiments like this too! Thanks for sharing!

    Sonia, Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! I bet your kiddos loved it!

    And yes, baking soda can sting a cut or dry out sensitive skin, but that's about it. Some children have skin sensitive to glitter too. Always follow your doctor's instructions if your child has sensitive skin! :)

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  25. I love the addition of the sparkles to the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment!

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  26. This is so wonderful and fun! I'm sure I would have loved this as a kid!

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