When I think of chemistry, I think of mixing up concoctions that fizz and bubble. I also think of the big, green lab goggles I had to wear every Monday night my freshman year of college.
You won’t need big, green goggles or any harsh chemicals for this experiment, but there will be plenty of fizz and bubbles!
You can create your own acid and base lab at the kitchen table using food. All of the materials in this activity are taste-safe, though they might not all taste very good once they’re mixed together.
To create your very own acid and base lab, you’ll need to start with a few simple ingredients and materials:
Muffin pan or several small bows or cups
Baking dishes or plastic trays leftover from veggies
Spoons or pipettes
and whatever other kitchen ingredients you want to play with (just be sure to stick with the nontoxic ones!).
Setting up is easy:
We filled plastic vegetable trays with baking soda and the cups of the muffin pan with each of the remaining ingredients.
Once you’re set up, all that’s left is exploring. We used spoons and craft sticks to mix the ingredients with our baking soda.
Peas and Pie were surprised when some of the ingredients erupted into bubbles. Some of the ingredients didn’t.
Why does this happen?
Baking soda reacts with acidic substances like vinegar, lemon juice, and ketchup because of an acid-base reaction. Baking soda is a base and those ingredients are acids. When baking soda is mixed with an acid like vinegar or citric acid, they exchange atoms and create carbon dioxide, water, and a salt.
That’s what creates the bubbles.
More fun facts about acids and bases:
Acids can dissolve some metals (so be careful when you’re touching acids in a chemistry lab!).
Acids in your stomach and bases in your pancreas help you digest food.
Lemon juice, orange juice, and apples all contain acids. Baking soda is a common base.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can set up your own mini chemistry lab at home. What will you discover with your kitchen table acids and bases?
Keep the innovation going as you join Rosie in her imaginative journey building her robot, Index, with the free How to Build a Robot from A to Z digital picture book and printable robot building kit.