Exploding Paint Experiment

I believe I saw this experiment at Familyfun.com, but I cannot find it now. It sounded like it would be really fun for the boys since it involved a little explosion. There is a little process to follow, and some coordination required, and definitely some adult supervision needed.

First, assemble your tools and ingredients:

zipper-style plastic baggies
big sheets of paper
1/4 c vinegar per bag
1 Tbsp baking soda per bag
1 piece of toilet paper per bag
liquid paint or food coloring, 1 per bag

First, place the baking soda in the middle of a piece of toilet paper, fold it neatly and place it in one corner of a bag.

Second, twist the bag to ‘seal’ the baking soda pillow into the corner.

Third, pour your paint and vinegar into the other corner of the bag.

Fourth, seal the bag.

When you are ready, untwist the bag and let the baking soda, paint and vinegar mix. Place the baggie on a big sheet of paper, preferably outside.

Your bag will inflate, like a balloon, and eventually pop, sending a splatter of color over the paper during the explosion. At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen!

Our bags inflated well, but after the explosion we saw that the vinegar made the paint appear to curdle. Not quite what we expected, and not a very neat print on the paper at all.

Obviously, this didn’t work as I had hoped, but I’m blogging about it anyway! It was a pretty neat experiment to try, and in a way good that it failed and led to disappointment, as it gave us an opportunity to talk about the process, what we observed and what we could alter next time.

If you try this experiment and it works, please let me know how you did it. I’m sure I must have done something wrong or they wouldn’t have published this experiment for public use!

NOTE: I wanted to try this again, but without having to experiment and tweak (yes, I know, but with 2 squirmy and anxious boys at this stage tweaking might take an entire box of baggies…) and I came across this experiment, almost the same but with different measurements….check it out, it’s called Bag Boom Explosion on education.com!

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0 comments

  1. Leila says:

    Hmmm… would be interesting to try it a couple of times and tweak little things here and there, but it sounds like it was fun anyway!

    I am a new follower! gotomommy.blogspot.com

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