As we roll thick into the heart of winter and a pandemic, many of our families are spending more time at home than we have in the past.  Each week we will be highlighting a quick, frugal idea for how to help your kids explore with open-ended materials instead of (or in addition to) using the television.  (No judgment from this author as she sings the Wild Kratts theme song in her head.) Of note, these play-based activities were not approved by the FDA and should not be done without supervision.  Use your judgment on if and how they are appropriate for your child.  

 

Baking soda and vinegar explosions

Supplies Needed:  

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water colors optional
  • Spoons, ladles, eye droppers
  • Several different sizes of plastic containers

 

This is How We Do It:

  • Find a space that you’re okay cleaning when you are finished.  The bathroom or a tiled floor works well.  Consider laying a towel out if this would make you feel better
  • Fill several small containers with vinegar and add half a tablet of various colors from a water color pallet or from a liquid watercolor bottle.   Fill a separate container with baking soda and assign a spoon or two to this container
  • Have your children choose which container they will choose to mix.  
  • Allow them to go nuts experimenting with adding various amounts of baking soda and different colors of vinegar.  
    • To make this a social skills lesson with your children, limit the number of utensils you add and help them take turns. 
    • To make this a preschool math activity, ask your children to count how many spoons full of baking soda they add to get a small, medium, and large reaction.

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