Today’s toddler activity is scientific. Toddlers and science may not seem like 2 things that go together, but they can. This activity doesn’t require any fancy laboratory equipment or materials that you don’t already have in your pantry. This activity is quick to set up and pretty easy to clean up. Get your little one and let’s do this!
For this Toddler Activity, you’ll need the following:
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I discovered this activity in the latest issue of Highlights High Five magazine. To get started, gather your supplies. We (I) decided to gather everything up and bring it outside. While this is a great rainy day activity, I’d recommend doing it outside on a warm sunny day if you can.
Set up your experiment by placing the muffin pan in the baking sheet, this contains the mess for easy cleanup.
Pour a 1/4 cup of baking soda into each muffin cup in the center row of the muffin pan. Using the center row leaves room for the overflow of colorful foam coming up in a couple of steps. My muffin pan has 4 muffin cups in the center row, so total I needed 1 cup of baking soda for this experiment.
Add 3-5 drops of food coloring into each muffin cup filled with baking soda. We did one color per cup, but you could absolutely mix and match colors. Based on the food coloring we had handy, we created one orange cup, one purple cup, one teal cup, and one pink cup. It should also be noted that we used gel food coloring for this experiment and it worked great.
Slowly pour as much vinegar into each cup as you like and watch the colorful foam quickly bubble up! After one batch of foam subsides, feel free to add more vinegar to create more bubbles and keep the fun going.
What’s happening here?
This experiment is based on some super simple science (YAY alliteration). When vinegar and baking soda are combined, a chemical reaction takes place. One product of this reaction is carbon dioxide gas and that gas is what forms the fizzy bubbles.
The science behind this activity may be interesting to older children, but I kept the discussion much simpler when completing this activity with my little one. My little one is only about 2 and 1/2 so we focused on practicing her pouring skills, naming the colors we were using, and expanding her vocabulary (foam, science, experiment, liquid).
My little one loved participating in this science experiment and I hope your little one(s) enjoy it as well. If you do give this a go, please share your experience in the Share Your Thoughts! section below.
Have fun experimenting!