Fizzy glitter potions - featured image
Creative Play Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Make Learning Fun

How to Make Fizzy Potions for Fun Sensory Play


Sensory play is so engaging for kids of all ages. Here’s how to use baking soda, vinegar and glitter to create magic potions that fizz!

Glittery potion on child's finger

Updated February 2021

Summer and sensory play! They just go together. I love that the warm weather means those of us with aversions to mess can breathe a little easier by taking it all outside! Sensory play is at its best outdoors where kids can engage all of their senses.

In the past few weeks, my go-to activity when sibling tension gets high or when a playdate reaches a lull has been the awesomest, easiest, most engaging bit of sensory wonder…

Fizzy glitter potions!

It’s an incredibly simple set-up with a few ingredients that you probably already have around the house. These glitter potions have kept my kids (and their friends) occupied for long stretches of time, especially in that late afternoon pre-dinner witching hour.

Ready to find out how to bring fizzy glitter potions, giggles, and intense expressions of concentration and wonder to your own backyard?

Fizzy Glitter Potions - A Fun Sensory Idea for Kids

How to Make Fizzy Glitter Potions

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Here’s what you need to set-up a fizzy glitter potion station…

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Glitter
  • Liquid watercolor or food coloring
  • Ball jars, glasses, or other clear containers
  • Spoons
  • Pipettes if you have them
  • A tray to contain the mess (or go tray-free if you’re outdoors, whatever you prefer!)
Pouring glitter into glass

Time needed: 1 hour.


  1. Set up the glitter potion station

    Set out a container with baking soda and spoons (I just used regular bowls from the kitchen).

    Fill a few glasses or jars with vinegar and add food coloring or liquid watercolor as desired.

    If you have pipettes, it definitely makes for really fun squeezing as the vinegar fizzes into the baking soda. Spoons work, too!

    And of course, set out some shakers of GLITTER!

    Seriously, my favorite part about fizzy glitter potions is that you just can’t go wrong.

    Sensory play glitter potions - squeezing out the vinegar

  2. Let the potion making begin!

    My kids like to start by spooning some baking soda into an empty glass and then they start squeezing different colors of vinegar on top. The fizzing part is pretty exciting, as you can see on our friend Z’s face below!

    Group of children making potions

  3. Keep on experimenting!

    As the kids continue to add more of baking soda, vinegar and glitter, you can often see the layers build up in the glass or jar; it looks amazing!

    Keep adding glitter, baking soda, vinegar, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

    My kids usually do keep doing this until they run out of baking soda and vinegar (so far, we haven’t been able to shake out all the glitter, but there is still time left this summer!)

    Sensory Play with Glitter Potions - E Stirring

Extend the Sensory Play!

Once we’re out of baking soda and vinegar, we end up with glasses filled with layer upon layer of this baking soda + vinegar + glitter mixture.

So what’s next?

In my kids’ world, stir it all together and turn it into a goopy paste!

Child's hands covered in glitter potion

If your kids don’t naturally do this, you can try posing an open-ended “I wonder…” question, such as “I wonder what would happen if you mixed that all together?” or “I wonder what that would feel like in your hands?” (Talking to your kids about their sensory play is a lot like talking to them about their art.)

At our house, usually all of the liquid ends up dumped out onto the trays or the table, and the paste gets spread all around (can you tell we’ve done this a whole bunch of times this summer?) They also love to use the glitter paste to make “yummy” food creations.

Glitter paste with leaves

Glitter salad, anyone?

Glitter salad and sandwich

They can keep at this for hours and hours; on this occasion, I had to eventually pry them away to eat dinner (which, unfortunately, involved neither glitter salad nor glitter sandwiches!)

And I love that clean-up is such a snap when this kind of messy play is outside. Hooray!

Sensory play glitter potions - messy hands

If you haven’t tried sensory play with baking soda and vinegar, I hope this inspires you to channel your inner scientist / artist / chef / mess-maker!

More Sensory Play Ideas

Pin It For Later

Fizzy Glitter Potions - pinterest
How to Make Fizzy Potions for Fun Sensory Play


  • Reply
    Marilyn Darné
    July 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for these wonderful ideas. My little granddaughters love doing all these science experiments so please keep sharing them with us.
    Marilyn Darné.

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      July 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks, Marilyn. These glitter potions have saved me this summer – my kids have yet to get tired of them. Have fun making some glittery fizz with your granddaughters!

  • Reply
    Dani Simmers
    July 25, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    This will be tomorrow’s fun artsy activity! Yesterday, we made the “Nature Bracelets” – and they were a BIG hit. One of them even had a couple of strange-looking beetles included! We made cardboard and stick frames for them. Such fun we have with all of you toddler ideas!

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      August 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      I love those Nature Bracelets, too; you never know what’s going to end up on them! Hope you enjoy the fizzy glitter potions. In my experience, this one is beloved by all ages :) Happy creating!

  • Reply
    July 26, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Ooh. Saw this and tried it after dinner. The kids LOVED it (ages 3 and 6) and spent an hour mixing and “skwooshing.”

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      August 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Yay, I’m so glad! I have had the exact same experience at my house – they can stay at this for ages and ages. Thank heavens :)

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I love this! I can already see the look of absolute horror on my husband’s face (glitter may just be his least favorite thing). But we’d do it anyways! Definitely an outside activity!

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      August 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Ha, I can relate to the adverse glitter feelings! Hopefully moving it outside will take the edge off a bit :) Have fun!!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2017 at 7:13 am

    This was a fun activity but I used hundreds and thousands instead of glitter. I don’t understand how you would clean up if the mixture had glitter in it? Surely you don’t wash the glitter down the drain or leave it in your yard? It’s an environmental hazard… Could you promote this activity with an Eco friendly alternative?

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      August 3, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Hi Kylie – thanks for your reminder to be eco-friendly. If you use a tray, it’s pretty easy to scrape the glitter into the trash at the end so that it doesn’t go down the drain. There are also some lovely biodegradable glitter alternatives. Here’s one :: Happy creating!

      • Reply
        August 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Wonderful! Thanks for the tip, I really didn’t think Eco friendly glitter was a possibility but should have googled it first before complaining! Our mixture became very watery so I was uncertain how one would dispose of the glitter. Anyway many thanks for the reply, my little one will be thrilled by biodegradable glitter!

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