Ahhhh, the joys of childhood wonderment!
Our children love science, absolutely LOVE it. This year we are using Apologia Exploring Creation – Astronomy; but being a huge fan of Pinterest we run into things to do that we just can’t wait for. My husband works a lot, so to give him quality bonding time with the kids and allow him to participate in fun and memorable things with the kids I tend to hold back on many of our projects until he can run them. It is so wonderful to see the kids get to interact with him and I feel like it really establishes a bond and shows that he strongly supports their education.
Anyhow, I happened to the dollar store the other day and purchased a pack of balloons (for the sake of this experiment, after seeing the results, I would suggest investing a little more in the balloons. The ones at big box stores tend to be a higher quality and have a more uniform appearance); so when he did not work last night I created a handy dandy little science worksheet (Gas Experiment Worksheet – PDF) to go along with the vinegar and baking soda gas experiment. It was so neat to learn along side the kids as we learned things about the combination we had never even though of before as well! It was getting late, so as of now we have only finished the first of the labs, but we have a ton of them to do over the next couple of days, and everyone is really excited!
Balloons (I will reiterate that I would suggest buying a higher grade balloon. Dollar Tree balloons are not all the same shape and size and may throw off perceived results).
Water bottles and a 2 liter bottle
Yarn or sewing tape measure
Measuring spoons of the same size
Start with your worksheet questions
You will want to use different measuring spoons to prevent prematurely beginning the reaction. Put baking soda into balloons (make sure you are using the same size). For our small batch we only used one tablespoon of each. This allowed us to increase the size of the batch to see the difference in another lab down the page. (By the way, I kept the vinegar and baking soda from the experiment to add to my washing machine…, nothing if not frugal :)) You want to be careful not to dump the baking soda from the balloon into the bottle until the balloon’s lip is fully secured around the base of the furthest lip of the bottle. (If you fail to do this, your results may look like the green balloon in the picture above.)
Aren’t those faces a great reason to home school?!?
**Please note that this is not producing helium. It will produce carbon dioxide, that is the reason for the question on floating or sinking 🙂 Also, be careful with your little ones and the balloons. These Dollar Tree balloons pop super easy 🙁
Be sure to check out Christina’s page for science. She just started her blog too, but she has always come up with some of the neatest hands on learning opportunities for the kiddos (and usually on a tight budget too!)!
Here is a little Youtube video I found to demonstrate the properties of CO2. I would suggest skipping past the first three minutes of rambling about the cost of a tank and just watch the last three that demonstrate the ability to pour it into a jar an put out a fire 🙂