Make this easy and fun fizzy leaves science experiment for kids to demonstrate a baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction while promoting fine motor skills. Video tutorial included.
Kids love conducting fizzy science experiments as they are fun and a great learning opportunity. This fizzy fall leaf sensory art project creates a remarkable opportunity to watch science and art come to life, putting STEM front and center. Both big kids and younger ones will find this baking soda and vinegar project captivating as you go from molding your leaf to bubbles fizzing all over! Besides, it is super fun and easy science experiment for any classroom. Most importantly, you probably have all the materials already handy to conduct this fizzy leaves kids science experiment. So, let’s get ready!
Fizzy Leaves Kids Science
You’ll Need for Fizzy Leaves Kids Science
- a waterproof tray
- tap water
- food coloring
- leaf mold ~ similar here (for Halloween, try these ghost molds or pumpkin ones)
- baking soda
- vinegar (dilute with water to last longer)
- twisty dropper (optional)
- turkey baster (optional)
*Instead of vinegar, you can use lemon/ lime juice/concentrate or freshly squeezed citrus.
- Add 1/3 cup of water to the bowl.
- Add yellow and red food coloring to the water and mix it.
- Add 1 cup of baking soda.
- Mix well.
- Transfer the mixture into each leaf mold and press it firmly to ensure it packs tightly.
- Freeze for one hour.
- Remove the mixture from each mold and arrange it on a waterproof tray.
Offer child droppers to squirt vinegar over the frozen leaves. Marvel at the fizzy explosion. [Watch the video tutorial below.]
Fizzy Leaves Kids Science
Children can continue to squirt more of the vinegar over the leaves until they no longer erupt.
The Science Behind the Fizzy Leaves Kids Science Eruption
It’s chemistry! It’s an ACID-BASE reaction! This taste-safe science experiment is simple and fun, and it never ceases to amaze little people!
What happens when you add vinegar to baking soda?
When baking soda (a base – sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (an acetic acid) are mixed together, they react with each other because of an atom exchange. (Baking soda receives a proton from vinegar). And one of the products this reaction creates is carbonic acid which is very unstable. Thus, carbonic acid instantly breaks apart into water and a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule. And since the carbon dioxide molecule is now free of its other chemical bonds, it can escape, bubbling forth as a gas. As a result, this chemical reaction releases a gas that bubbles and fizzes, making it a fun sensory acid-base kids’ experiment. The food coloring helps you see the bubbles a little better.
Fizzy Leaves Kids Science is Taste-Safe
This fizzy STEM experiment is taste-safe for little ones who are still mouthing things since you are using baking soda and food coloring. However, taste-safe does not mean edible!
Despite the activity being taste-safe, we still want to deter little ones from eating anything that is NOT food! Good habits will ensure safe play! So, if they put it into their mouth, calmly say, “No, not for eating. Not in your mouth,” or “Do not put it in your mouth. This is not food.” Or stick a tongue out and make a yucky /disgusted face. Most importantly, model appropriate ways to play. If the behavior persists, remove the activity and introduce it later.