Education Through Entertainment

How to: Learn Colors and Chemicals using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Posted on Wed, Jul 27, 2016

If you have curious little ones running around the house, or are looking for a fun activity for your lower elementary kids, this is a great way to spend an afternoon they'll ask to do again and again.

It's a simple "baking soda and vinegar" experiment, but with an artistic twist!  By coloring the vinegar, you can not only mix the vinegar with the baking soda... you can also mix red with blue!

Follow these directions to start mixing colors and chemicals with your kids today!

Watch this video to see the experiment in action.

Step 1: What You'll Need

You need just a few ingredients to set up your color and chemical mixing station:

  • Baking Soda (16 oz)

  • Vinegar (3 cups)

  • Baster

  • Baking Pan (glass or foil)

  • Food Coloring (red, yellow, and blue)

  • 3 cups (plastic or glass)

Baking Soda, Baking Pan, Vinegar, and Food Coloring

Step 2: Prepare the Vinegar and Baking Soda

Once you've gathered all of the necessary supplies, it's time to prepare the vinegar and baking pan.

Cover the baking pan with an even layer of baking soda, approximately 1/2 inch deep.  Tap the sides of the pan to even out the baking soda, so you have a "blank canvas" to work on.

Next, fill three glasses with vinegar.  Pour 3-5 drops of blue food coloring into one glass, then do the same with red and yellow in the remaining glasses.  Stir in the coloring to spread it around.  You want to make sure the color is dark and saturated, so don't be afraid to use too much food coloring.

Color the Vinegar with Food Coloring

Step 3: Mix!

Carefully fill the baster with a colored vinegar of your choosing and add it to the pan of baking soda.  Watch the reaction! 

Baking Soda and Colored Vinegar Mix

See the bubbles?  That's carbon dioxide being released from the mixture of the baking soda and the vinegar.

Step 4: Combine Colors to Make New Colors

Don't stop there - try mixing the different colors together in the baking soda!

Mix Colors Together

With the three primary colors, you can make all other colors.  For example, if you mix red and blue, you get purple.  And if you mix blue and yellow, you get green.  What other colors can you make?  

Fun with Colors and Chemicals

Try painting a picture with this chemical reaction!

After you've filled up that pan with a colored mess, chances are your kids will want to try it again.  Try adjusting the color saturation of your vinegar and the thickness of your baking soda for the most vibrant results.

Check back again for even more do-it-yourself science experiments from Mobile Ed's Building Up STEAM series!  

If you like DIY experiments like these, you should see the kinds of spectacular demonstrations we bring to schools with our live school assembly presentations.  Take a look at The Magic of Science, Physics is Fun, Forces and Motion and Crime Scene Science, each full of interactive demonstrations that kids love.

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About Mobile Ed Productions:

Mobile Ed Productions, Inc. has been in business since 1979, producing educational, entertaining school assemblies and hands-on workshops.  Based out of Michigan, the company creates, designs, markets and distributes innovative ways to make learning fun in the form of live presentations and interactive exhibits.

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Topics: science fair projects, science enrichment, Teaching Science, Hands On Science, making science exciting, DIY, Building Up STEAM, science experiments