Balloon Blow-Up Science Experiment

mother and two children doing a balloon blow-up science experiment at home

Blow-Up a Balloon Using Science! Ages 3+

Using items easily found at home, you can blow up a balloon without using your mouth or your own breath! This isn’t magic; it’s science!

Why?

This experiment demonstrates how states of matter can change – mixing a solid with a liquid to create gas! The science behind this balloon baking soda experiment is the chemical reaction between the base – baking soda – and the acid – vinegar. When the two ingredients mix together the balloon baking soda experiment gets its lift! The gas produced from the two ingredients is carbon dioxide or CO2.

Carbon dioxide is the same gas that is produced by the human lungs and is a biproduct of our respiratory system. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

Vocabulary:

  • Inflate
  • Fizz
  • Gas
  • Expand
  • Observe
  • Extra Credit Word: Exothermic (absorbs heat, so it feels cold)

Balloon Blow-Up Experiment Materials:

  • Empty 12-16 oz soda bottle (or any bottle about that size with a small neck)
  • Balloon
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Small funnel
  • Teaspoon
  • Small measuring cup

Balloon Blow-Up Experiment Directions:

  1. Have your children scoop the baking soda into the balloon using the funnel
  2. Help your children put the vinegar into the flask using a pipette or small measuring cup
  3. Next, attach the balloon to the top of the flask; make sure not to pour the baking soda into the
    vinegar!
  4. Ask your children what might happen, and why.
  5. Count to 3 and everyone holds up their balloon so the baking soda falls into the vinegar,
    creating a chemical reaction and blowing up their balloon.
  6. Let the kids know what will happen scientifically
    SCIENCE: When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together, it creates a gas called carbon dioxide. The gas begins to expand in the bottle and starts to inflate the balloon. The more gas that is created, the larger the balloon will inflate.
  7. Follow up experiment: ask your children if they think blowing a balloon up using their breath is faster or slower than with baking soda and vinegar. Why? Test it out!

Check out these other STEAM activities that are sure to engage, entertain, and educate!

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