Games with Baking Soda

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Stenciled Messages around the House

Take advantage of the deodorizing power of baking soda, and spill it all over the carpets! Your children will think its delightful to be allowed to make such a mess, but little do they know its all in the name of housecleaning. Take some Bristol board and cut out stencilled letters spelling messages – “Welcome Home” for the front doormat, “Happy Birthday” in little Johnny’s room or “Happy Father’s Day” for the rug in front of Dad’s easy chair. Just place the stencil on the carpet, and sprinkle baking soda through the letters. When the message has filled its purpose, simply vacuum up the remains.

Magical Inflatable Balloons

Place 2 teaspoons of baking soda into and empty pop bottle with a funnel. After rinsing out the funnel (you don’t want the reaction to start too soon) use it to pour 1/3 cup of vinegar into a balloon. Carefully stretch the neck of the balloon around the mouth of the pop bottle, making sure not to let any vinegar slip out prematurely.  When the balloon is fitted on, tip it up and drain the vinegar into the pop bottle with the baking soda. The reaction between the vinegar and soda will fizz and release carbon dioxide which will inflate the balloon as if by magic.

The Classic Baking Soda Volcano

All the rage at the third grade science fair this year, this activity lets your kids play at chemistry in a safe and (relatively) controlled manner. Take advantage of the baking soda-vinegar reaction to create an amazing working volcano model which will thrill them to their very core. First, turn a flower pot upside down in a large shallow pan – this will catch the volcanic overflow. Set an empty tuna can upside down on top of the flower pot to add some height, and then an empty Styrofoam cup upside down on top of that. Tape up the seam around the tuna can and the cup VERY STRONGLY, and then cover the entire object with as much tin foil, clad, paint etc as you want, to make it look like a “real” volcano. Make a hole in the top of the styrofoam cup and insert several spoonfuls of the magic baking soda, as well as a dollop of dishwashing soap. Make a separate mixture of 1/2 vinegar and some food colouring (red is very effective), and when you are ready for action, pour this mixture into the top of the volcano. Watch the action unfold!

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