Experimenting with Acids and Bases
Teach children about the basics of chemical reactions between acids and bases in this fun activity you can do at home!
Estimated Cost of Materials
6 – 12
Acids & Bases
In this Activity Kit, children will get familiar with the properties of acids and bases by exploring what happens when an acidic element reacts with a basic element. Through the two experiments presented below, kids will learn that the product of this reaction is carbon dioxide, released in the form of gas.
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This activity kit will require the following resources:
- Ensure participants do not stand too close to the experiment at work.
- Protect the working surface to prevent damage and excessive cleaning.
Purchase the materials needed for Experiment 1 : flask or bottle, 1 balloon, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp baking soda.
Purchase the materials needed for Experiment 2 (quantities for one participant): 1 lemon half, 1 craft stick, 1 tsp dish soap, 1 tsp baking soda.
Read the presentation deck on acids and bases, as it can help you explain the difference between them and the relevance of the pH scale.
- Put 1/2 cup of vinegar in the bottle.
- Put 2 tbsp of baking soda into the deflated balloon.
- Stretch the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.
- Flip the balloon so it is upright. The balloon will inflate with carbon dioxide released from the reaction.
- Show the child how to poke holes in the top of the lemon (the inside) with a craft stick.
- Have the child pour the dish soap on top of the poked lemon.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top of the lemon and soap.
- After a couple of minutes, the “volcano” will start erupting with cloudy bubbles. If the reaction is too delayed, poke the stick into the lemon again to mix up the lemon juice and baking soda.
- More baking soda can be added to create the reaction a second time if desired.