Exploding Bags

There have been repeated requests to make more erupting volcanoes in our house since we engaged in this experience. So we decided to continue our exploration with other vinegar and bicarbonate of soda experiments. Today it was "Exploding Bags!"

The name alone was enough to totally capture the boys' attention. Anything that explodes, in their opinion, must be good! (As long as it's not too loud or scary!).

The Aim of Exploding Bags

For the boys to see how the chemical reaction between vinegar and bicarb soda builds up pressure when kept in an enclosed space ... and to have fun while doing it!

How To Make Exploding Bags

    1. Cut our squares of paper towel (approx. 13cm x 13cm)
    Exploding Bags

    2. Place 2 tablespoons of baking soda in the middle. Fold the paper towel up so the baking soda is enclosed in a little package. Put the package to one side, in a dry place.
    Exploding Bags
    Exploding Bags
    Exploding Bags
    Exploding Bags
    Exploding Bags

    3. Pour ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of warm water into a plastic ziplock bag.
    Exploding Bags

    4. Half close the bag.

    5. This is the tricky part. Place the bicarb soda package inside the plastic bag BUT kept it OUT of the liquid mixture. Hold it inside the top of the bag and finish sealing the bag.

    6. Let go of the bicarb soda package so it falls into the liquid mixture and place the bag on the ground.
    Exploding Bags
    7. Watch the bag to see what happens. It should begin to expand and eventually pop. A couple of our bags developed leaks near the top before they popped. For the most part, the process was slow ... but fun.

We've got some other activities we want to test out with vinegar and bicarb soda but guess what ... we've run out of vinegar!

So How Is "Exploding Bags" Educational?

During this activity, the boys engaged:

  • Maths skills - measuring ingredients
  • Science skills - predicting what would happen, observing
  • Language skills - describing what they were seeing and doing
  • Fine Motor skills to pour, fold and pinch
  • Cleaning up skills - no, wait ... that was me! The hose worked well on the ground and the boys!

Go to other vinegar and bicarbonate of soda experiences:

Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities.

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