Saturday, February 9, 2013

Science Saturday: Magic Inflating Balloon

Welcome back to Science Saturday! We've got a great science activity to share with you today- the magic inflating balloon! The great thing about this science demonstration is it's easy, frugal, and only requires materials that most everybody has on hand at their home or camper! Oh, and then there's the major WOW factor, too! That's pretty nice also!

We've been studying states of matter and chemical and physical changes in our roadschooling lessons. This experiment fits the bill for both topics. Not only is it an opportunity to explore changes in the state of matter and view a real, live chemical reaction, but it's also an amazing thing to see! We've used this demonstration in classrooms as part of a Science Fun Day, at a Mad Scientist birthday party, and around the campsite just for funsies!

Before you read any farther, we must make you aware of our disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: If you perform this experiment at your campsite, or other science activities like the Floating S Skittles, Ice Cube Sailboats, Glue Hands, or Fizzy Sidewalk Chalk Paint, be prepared for all the kiddos in the campground to flock to your campsite. As long as you don't mind your campsite being "the" place to be for all the campground kids (we don't), proceed at your own risk!

To make a ballon magically inflate, you will need: an empty water or soda bottle, vinegar, baking soda, a funnel, and a balloon. 
  • For a 20 oz. bottle, pour about 1/2 cup vinegar into your bottle. (Don't use the funnel for this! If you do, wash and completely dry it before proceeding.) If your bottle is bigger or smaller, you may have to adjust amounts a little. Experiment- it's science!
  • Insert the funnel into the balloon. 
  • Pour about 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda into the funnel. 
  • Remove the funnel and shake all the baking soda down into the bottom of the balloon. 
  • Stretch the neck of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. 
  • Hold onto the end of the balloon to keep the baking soda from falling into the bottle until you are ready. 
  • Lift the balloon up and let the baking soda fall into the bottle. 
  • Step back, and watch the magic!

  The kids were so amazed, we had to do it again!

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