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Have you tried the baking soda and vinegar experiment with your kids yet? 

Yesterday N skipped her nap and requested “gooey flour and water” for her quiet time activity.  Did you hear me sighing? I sort of had “read books” or “play with a puzzle” in mind, but I guess that would be too much to expect when we rarely sit down and work on puzzles during non-quiet times, right?

I had a million little things in the hopper, but it seemed like a reasonable request. So, there she was, inches deep in flour, salt, water, and white vinegar. With its clear color and acidic smell, the vinegar gave this sensory project an elevated feeling of alchemy. She liked the smell of it, then tasted it, and then tasted everything.

As I was sitting there watching this serious game of ingredient exploration unfold, I remembered the ol’ vinegar and baking soda trick! So I brought out the baking soda and asked innocently, “would you like to add some baking soda into your cups?” Of course she said “yes,” and her reaction to the merging of the vinegar and baking soda made missing a nap totally worthwhile.

First she add baking soda to all of the cups and then she poured vinegar on top of the baking soda. We played this game in both directions: adding vinegar to baking soda and vice versa.

After depleting my white vinegar reserves, she begged me for more. (Hey! This project is a winner!) Since I was also sort of curious about how the other vinegars would react to the baking soda, I reluctantly handed over my red wine and balsamic vinegars. They each bubbled, but had slightly different reactions.

Happy experimenting!

Happily shared with Childhood 101

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21 Comments

    • thanks…that’s really generous!

  1. All this tired mama can manage is “nap”? Your two year old still naps? Lucky you!

    • We had three days of no napping, and I thought I was doomed! But today she napped again. I’ll no longer hold my breath…eventually that day will come 🙂

  2. I just did this with my five year old the other day and he loved it!

    • it’s pretty irresistible. i remember enjoying this is grade school, and thought children older than my own would love this too.

  3. if you are okay with food coloring..try it with clear cups…fantastico~

    • are you kidding? i love food coloring — great tip!

  4. Hee hee, my kids (5 & 10) love cleaning the toilets with baking soda and vinegar. I always get a kick out of the excitement…hopefully they won’t figure out it’s dirty work anytime soon.

  5. now that’s just pure genius! she’s at that age where she wants to do everything, including vacuuming (thank you!), and this will go over like gangbusters!

  6. Ooh- we’ve got to do this, and now I know where the last few drops of food coloring should go too!

  7. My son always loved cleaning the sinks with baking soda and vinegar. On another note – regarding napping – my son is turning four next month and still takes a two hour nap every afternoon. We have the occasional day where it is lost if he sleeps late that morning and has a non-active day but for the most part, he naps. He has gone through several week-long no-nap jags over the past two years where I thought I was doomed but I stood firm and required the nap period even if he just laid in his bed for an hour or so to rest. He got past it and went right back to napping again. I have an 8 month old so I need both kids to nap in the afternoon so I can recharge and make it through the day without yelling at everyone. (He sleeps at night from 9pm-7:30am)

    • nicole, you’ve given me some much-needed confidence to really put my foot down! napping has returned, although there are still days when it doesn’t happen. it helps to hear that a whole week without naps can pass, and we could still return to the nap routine. with a 5 month old, i feel the same way. it can be really exhausting to just run, run, run all day long.

  8. […] Some of my other favorite art experiments and recipes for kids are: How to make Slime, Vinegar and Baking Soda for toddlers and preschoolers, playful experiments with Flour and Water , and setting up a provocation with Flour […]

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