Science for Kids: Fizzing Planets

I mentioned last week in my post about the squirt gun watercolor paintings, that I'm not a very fun mom. However, when we did that project, I realized that being a "fun mom" really isn't that hard. That little project took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish, but it was easily the highlight of the day for Jay. I'm starting to realize more and more, that my little extra bits of parenting effort really do go a long way in terms of my children's happiness for that particular day. 

Since that experience, I've been trying to make more of an effort to do small projects with Jay each week. It's not something that I plan to do every single day, but if I can make something fun happen once or twice a week, all the better. 

This week we learned about chemical reactions with this little "fizzing planets" project. It was super easy, and I already had everything I needed in my pantry. If you have baking soda, vinegar, and water in your house, you can make it happen too. Jay has been absolutely obsessed with astronauts and outer space lately, and so he was over the moon (see what I did there?) excited for this project. We dyed our planets  with green and blue food coloring to make it a little more fun, but if you don't have food dye on hand, it will still be just as fun. 

1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup water
food coloring

In a bowl, mix together the baking soda and the water. You want the consistency to be damp enough that the mixture doesn't crumble when you roll it into balls, but it's not too wet where it's just a soupy mess. I had to add a few more splashes of water to get it to form balls, but start with 1/4 cup, and work from there. 

Once your mixture is the right consistency, you can either form it into balls from here, or you can divide it into a couple different bowls and dye it different colors. We did green and blue, and then made each ball half blue, and half green. 

When you're ready to get things fizzing, get a small bowl of vinegar and a spoon and let your child have fun spooning the vinegar onto the balls and watch it bubble and fizz. My son thought this was the coolest thing ever, and it easily kept him busy for 20+ minutes. 

We also put ours in a little tinfoil boat to reduce mess, but you could also place the balls in small bowl for the same mess saving effect. 

1 comment

  1. You are totally a fun mom now! (Although, I'm pretty sure you were always fun). Have you tried cornstarch and water yet? It's a suspended liquid, so when you squeeze it in your hand, it's a solid, but as soon as you open your hand, it turns into liquid form. Kids have so much fun with it! My mom teaches child development so she knows all those fun things for kids to do and they learn while doing it :)