This is kid science experiment number two and science failure number two. Maia flipped through our Super Science Experiments book and picked out a project that involved inflating a balloon with the carbon dioxide gas created by mixing baking soda and lemon juice. The ingredients were simple: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon water, the juice of one lemon, a balloon, and a soda bottle.
We followed the instructions, adding the baking soda and water to the bottle, mixing them, then adding the lemon juice. It started to fizz immediately (and create carbon dioxide) and I pulled the balloon over the top of the bottle as quickly as possible. Maia got so excited when the balloon started to inflate, but when it was a couple minutes later and it still hadn’t gotten any bigger, she felt let down.
So what happened? Not enough carbon dioxide perhaps? Or maybe we didn’t get the balloon on quick enough and a lot of the carbon dioxide escaped into the air?
So then we tried again, this time using vinegar (an optional variation included in the book) and doubling all the ingredients in the hopes of making more CO2. Again, I put the balloon on as quickly as I could. It inflated more than the first balloon, but still not as much as we had been expecting or hoping.
I wouldn’t say this experiment was quite the fail that our invisible ink was, but it also wasn’t an unqualified success. So now I’m wondering — do you have any favorite kid science experiments? I’d like something tried and true for next time. And if you have an awesome science experiment book to recommend, please let me know as well. I’m not as thrilled with this one as I’d like to be.
P.S. Want more science? Here’s my current collection of fave artful kids science experiments…