Monday, August 10, 2015


The Ultimate List of Things that Pop, Fizz, Erupt, & Explode! A Great Science Experiment Resource!

Here it is...the Ultimate List of Things That Pop, Fizz, Erupt, and Explode for science experiment fun! This list is the perfect resource for making all kinds of science projects.

Okay, okay...there are other things that you can make explode, but this is the G-rated, preschool-friendly version.  And even though most of the items on this list are relatively harmless, you should always use safety precautions (like goggles) when mixing them.  Nobody wants to be popped in the eye with random small objects!  Also, please note that (like everything else on this blog), all activities are meant to be done with close, competent adult supervision.

Download your own {FREE} printable version here!

Does it ever feel like if you want something fizzy, vinegar and baking soda are your only options?  Well... they're not!  Here's a whole list of household objects that can fizz, pop, erupt, or explode!

I actually put this list together for a homeschool science class I'm teaching, and I decided to add a few details and links and share it with you!  I hope you enjoy it!

As I typed up the list, I used popping, fizzing, erupting, and exploding combinations that we have done--many of them in a variety of ways--but, I was surprised to notice that I've only blogged about a handful of them!  I will work on putting up posts about each of them!

In the meantime, here are a few more details about each of the items on the Ultimate List of Things that Pop, Fizz, Erupt, & Explode.  And since you obviously won't be in my class this month, feel free to ask any questions at the bottom of this post or in an email...I'm happy to answer them and help in any way!  Now that all the introductions are out of the way, here are the details:

1.  Vinegar and Baking Soda.  How could this not be first?  You can mix them in a jar, bottle, vase, volcano, plastic baggie, sand pit, or even just in the dirt outside!  You can add food coloring and make a sparkly fizzing rainbow or rainbow volcano.  You can add other ingredients and use them to make a sparkly explosion, fizzing dinosaur eggs, holiday shapes, fizzy snow dough, or a fizzy dinosaur claw.  You can use them to blow up normal balloons, ghost balloons, or even gloves!  The possibilities are endless, they're pretty cheap and easy to find, and preschoolers (and older kiddos) love experimenting with them!

2.  Kool-aid and Baking Soda.  Kool-aid is another easy-to-get acid, and it comes with the added bonus of being colored and smelling fun!  We compared it with vinegar to create a Love Potions Lab!

3.  Lemon Juice and Baking Soda.  Many fruits are acidic enough to react with baking soda.  Lemons are one of the best...and they smell great!  We used this combination to make our Fizzy Flower Sensory Dough!

4.  Orange Juice and Baking Soda.  Oranges are not as strong as lemons, but they still usually work quite well.  Let your kiddos experiment with different fresh fruit juices!

5.  Mentos and Diet Coke.  This is a fantastic reaction that creates a fountain that easily bursts 10 feet in the air!  Check out our geyser, explanation, and a step-by-step how-to here!

6. Dry Ice and Water.  You could just plop a piece of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) in water and watch it fizz and erupt.  It's fantastic to watch.  Or you could create a rocket by carefully placing a very small piece of dry ice in a water bottle half filled with water, placing a cork stopper on the bottle, and watching the stopper launch into the sky!  Dry ice sublimates (goes directly from a solid to a gas), and as it does so, the gas builds up in the water bottle until it forces the stopper to fly away!

7.  Stomp Rockets.  You can buy a kit and watch the rocket pop off into space, or use our easy directions to make your own!

8.  Alka Seltzer and Water.  Place the alka seltzer in the water and watch it fizz.  Or, add some glitter and soap to make a sensational sparkly foamy eruption!  Or, fill your vase half full with water, 1/3 full with oil, and toss in a few drops of food coloring.  Adding the alka seltzer to this concoction makes a fizzy, bubbly reaction that looks an awful lot like a homemade lava lamp!

9.  Corn and Heat.  Pop! Pop! Pop!  Everyone should pop corn without a microwaveable baggie at least once a year.  And here's one thing I haven't tried: popping corn while it's still on the cob!

10. Pop Rocks Candy and Soda.  Different sodas and different flavors of pop rocks will give you different results, but they both contain pressurized carbon dioxide that gets released when you mix them together.  To make it even more fun, see if you can get a balloon to blow up by catching the gas as it's released!

11.  Hydrogen peroxide, yeast, water, and soap.  This is one of our all-time favorite eruptions...and one of the most popular posts on this blog!  Click here for detailed instructions, explanations, and pictures of Elephant Toothpaste!

12. Wintergreen Life-Savers and Diet Coke.  This reaction is caused by similar forces as the mentos & diet coke reaction!

13. Ivory Soap and Heat.  We've done this so many times that I'm shocked I haven't blogged about it yet!  I will fix that soon, but in the meantime you can try it too!  Just place a bar (or a piece) of ivory soap on a microwave safe dish and turn on the microwave.  You can watch it explode as it warms up!  The microwave boils moisture in the soap which expands and makes the entire soap grow...very quickly!  It will deflate a little when you open the microwave, but still looks super cool!

14.  Marshmallows/peeps and Heat.  Marshmallows are also full of moisture that will expand as it is heated!  They also come in all sorts of shapes...check out our "exploding" marshmallow hearts here!

15. Ivory Soap and Heat.  Oops!  Looks like a repeat!  I'll edit the document as soon as I get a chance!  So sorry!!

16.  Juice and Dry Ice.  This is one of our favorite Halloween treats!  Carbonate your own juice (you can even make it fresh if you like!) by adding dry ice (which is just frozen carbon dioxide).  Enjoy the fizzing and foaming cloud of carbon dioxide!

17.  Balloons and Sharp Objects.  This could have also fought for the #1 position, lol!  My kids love popping balloons as much as playing with them.  Using close supervision, of course, letting your preschoolers pop balloons with pins, forks, or skewers is fantastic fine motor skill practice!

18.  Balloons and Heat.  Try holding the balloon over a candle!

19. Warheads and Baking Soda Water.  The warheads are acidic enough to react with baking soda dissolved in water!  Experiment with other candies, especially sour ones.

20. Paper Cup Pom Pom Shooters.  These quick and easy paper cup shooters will pop pom poms or mini marshmallows with a simple flick of the end of the balloon!  Cut out the bottom of the paper cup and the tip of a balloon.  Secure the balloon to the cup like the balloon is secured to a paper towel tube here.  Use your hands to hold it in place, or add a rubber-band.  Insert a pom pom or marshmallow, pull back gently on the balloon, and... pop!!

21.  PVC Pipe Marshmallow Shooter.  These marshmallow shooters use people-powered air pressure to pop marshmallows!

22.  Puffy Paint and Microwaves.  "Puffy Paint" is a paint mixture that expands and erupts when heated.  We used it for a patriotic craft, but you can use it for any theme!  Here is an easy recipe.

And, that's it!  As I typed this up, I've actually thought of a few other combinations that should be fun, but we'll test them out before we add them.  :)  These twenty-two combinations should keep your kids busy for a while with fun science experiments!  Our preschoolers are thrilled with a weekly pop, fizz, erupt, or explode science project, and I hope you have a "blast" with them too!

I may share at any of these parties!

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Christina @ There's Just One Mommy said...

We love vinegar and baking soda around here -- it never gets old!
Definitely wanting to try the Mentos one.

What a great list!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Those are both wonderful ones Christina!! Thanks for stopping by!!