Do you need some fun STEM activities for kids? Here are 7 baking soda and vinegar STEM activities to help teach kids about chemistry and chemical reactions!
I loved chemistry as a kid. I was the kid who asked for a chemistry set for Christmas and played with it up in my room all the time.
If you don’t want your kids to have a free reign on producing [potentially dangerous] chemical reactions, you can give them the same satisfaction with baking soda and vinegar!
Baking soda and vinegar is pretty safe to work with and can be a great learning tool for kids from toddlers on up to tweens and even teens.
The Science Behind the Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction
Baking soda and vinegar are simple ingredients that when put together create a chemical reaction.
Baking soda is a bicarbonate(or NaHCO3) and it is a base. Vinegar is acetic acid (or HCH3COO), which of course is an acid.
When these 2 combine a chemical reaction occurs and a a result of this chemical reaction, carbon dioxide gas is produced. (Here’s a more exact description of what happens during the reaction)
That carbon dioxide gas is what causes the bubbles and the “volcanic” explosions kids love.
Follow up the discussion with this fun Acids and Bases Experiment to help kids determine what are acids and what are bases.
Looking for some fun ways to explore baking soda and vinegar? Here are 7 fun baking soda and vinegar activities for kids of all ages.
7 Fun and Easy Baking Soda and Vinegar STEM Activities for Kids
Most of these activities are fairly easy to put together and you probably have all of the ingredients to create them sitting in your kitchen right now!
Baking Soda Paint
This easy STEAM activity is a wonderful combination of Science and Art that your kids will love!
Baking soda paints are easily mixed together with just a few ingredients. Then once your art creation is complete you add in some vinegar to create a fizzing reaction to the paints!
This activity is suitable for all ages.
Learn more: How to Make Baking Soda Paints
Dancing Popcorn Science Experiment
Dancing popcorn is one of my younger kids’ absolute favorite experiments.
It’s simple enough for them to do themselves (with supervision) and it has a fun visual outcome!
All you need is baking soda, vinegar, and popcorn!
Learn more: How to Make Dancing Popcorn
Make a Volcano
Volcanoes are a time tested STEM activity that has lasted for generations.
All you need is a few supplies like baking soda, vinegar, and a little soap or food coloring.
You can make this as fancy as you wish. I know my kids love to take a plastic bottle and some dirt and mud and build up something that looks like a real volcanic mountain. Then add some baking soda to the bottle and pour some soap and vinegar on top and see it erupt!
Blow up a Balloon
Blowing up balloons is so much fun for kids. What makes it even better? Blow up a balloon without using your mouth!
I like this baking soda and vinegar activity because it’s a great visual representation of the gas produced when you mix the 2 ingredients. Baking soda and vinegar don’t just make things explode, but it produces carbon dioxide gas!
This is a simple activity. All you need is:
- a balloon
- a bottle or test tube
- baking soda and vinegar
Place vinegar in the test tube and baking soda in the balloon. Fit the balloon over the top of the test tube and then tip the balloon up so that the baking soda spills into the vinegar below.
Be sure to hold on to the balloon so it doesn’t shoot off!
Then watch the balloon inflate!
Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs
These fun baking soda dinosaur eggs combine everyone’s favorites for a fun STEM activity for kids that everyone will love!
Make a dough out of baking soda and mold it around tiny dinosaurs to create eggs. Let them harden and use vinegar to hatch out the dinosaurs! What’s more fun that that?!
Learn More: How to Make Baking Soda Dinosaur Eggs
Baking Soda and Vinegar Sensory Station
Sometimes the best way to learn is through free play.
Kids of all ages will love the freedom of playing with baking soda and vinegar however they wish.
This baking soda and vinegar sensory tub is all about free play with materials to learn and experiment. All you need is baking soda, vinegar, and a few fun extras.
This exploding bags activity is very similar to the blowing up balloons activity.
Baking soda and vinegar and combined in a closed Ziploc bag and the reaction causes the bag to inflate and eventually burst. Plus you can do all sorts of variations to turn this into a true experiment.