The Earth Day STEM Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction for Kids is your classic chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar with an earthy twist! Young kids will be delighted by the fizzy reaction, and then you can delve into some pretty cool scientific explanations and new vocabulary (or not)!
Celebrating Earth Day with kids can be as simple as an earth day craft bird feeder or as involved as planting trees! I prefer a middle-ground where we can engage in a fun science experiment while also covering the special holiday on April 22 that many may never have heard of.
Learning About STEM Activities for Earth Day:
EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
EARTH DAY STEM ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL ARE A GREAT WAY TO TEACH KIDS ABOUT THE SPECIAL DAY AND COVER FUN SCIENTIFIC REACTIONS.
Regardless of the theme, early science experiments provide a lot of opportunities for language and skill development.
This experiment is fun to do in small groups, so all students get a chance to participate. Each student could also do their own, but that makes it a little harder to prepare.
I like to set up other Earth Day stations, equipped with an adult, so that students rotate through the stations and they all get the hands-on experience of the chemical reaction.
In addition to learning about Earth Day, students can think about the scientific reaction occurring:
- What would happen if we added more baking soda/vinegar?
- What do you notice happening when you add the vinegar?
- What color did you create by mixing green and blue?
- How much land is on Earth? Water?
- What did you learn?
- What are your questions?
What Can Preschoolers Learn About Chemical Reactions?
SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS with preschoolers
BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR CHEMICAL REACTIONS ARE EASY TO MAKE AND PROVIDE EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITIES TO TEACH KIDS IMPORTANT SCIENCE VOCABULARY.
- Carbon dioxide gas (bubbles created by the mixture)
- Acetic acid (mixed with water it creates vinegar)
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- Sodium acetate (what’s left behind after the bubbles disappear)
- Acid-base reaction (the name for this type of reaction)
- Baking soda plus vinegar equals carbon dioxide/water/sodium ions/acetate ions
Why Is It Important For Kids To Make a Reaction With Baking Soda and Vinegar?
Besides the fact that kids love making a mess and experimenting with different ingredients, they can also learn important foundational science skills with this simple kids’ earth day project.
Teaches Scientific Process: Walking through any science experiment in preschool really just teaches kids the steps involved in experimenting: ask a question, create a theory, test the theory, and analyze results.
Develops Curiosity: Projects like this invoke curiosity in kids. What causes the bubbles? What would happen if we add more/less of any ingredient? Would we get the same reaction if we use flour instead of baking soda? Why/why not?
Introduces Vocabulary: A simple vinegar/baking soda reaction is crammed with very sophisticated vocabulary. You can get as detailed as you want. Some kids will be more curious than others, so you can tailor the information you give them based on inquiries.
Exercises Fine Motor Muscles: Measuring ingredients, using droppers, and pouring liquids give kids wonderful hands-on practice to develop small muscles in their hands and bodies.
How To Create The Vinegar and Baking Soda Reaction for Kids
Supplies for the Earth Day Vinegar Baking Soda Experiment:
- Baking soda
- Green food coloring
- Blue food coloring
- Small bowls
- Round pan
- Stirring straws
How to Implement the STEM Challenge
Step 1: Fill the small bowls with vinegar (about ¾ full).
Step 2: Add about 5 drops of green food coloring to a bowl. Stir well.
Step 3: Add about 5 drops of blue food coloring to the other bowl. Stir well.
- Pour baking soda into the pan and spread out into an even layer using a spatula.
- Fill the dropper with the green colored vinegar. Drop the vinegar onto the baking soda around the pan to represent ‘land.’ Watch the fizzy reaction!
- Fill the dropper with the blue colored vinegar. Drop the vinegar onto the baking soda around the pan to represent ‘water.’ Watch the fizzy reaction!
- Continue this process until all of the baking soda is colored either green or blue to represent planet Earth.
More Earth Day Activities for Kids
Explore With Senses:
After making Earth with fizzy reactions, go outside and explore the earth. Children can engage all five senses and write/draw what they see/hear/feel/smell as they sit quietly for a few moments.
The fizzy experiment won’t last, but your students can create paper plate globes that they color/paint to mimic the land and water of the science experiment.
Earth Day Snack
Nothing is more appropriate after a science experiment than an earth-themed snack! Decorate round cookies with frosting to look like land/water, or use grapes and blueberries.
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