Melting rainbows – a baking soda and vinegar activity

This is a really fun project for budding scientists – when you mix baking soda and vinegar a chemical reaction occurs which creates bubbles. This is fun all on its own but when you involve colours things take on a new direction. I’ve previously written about how Arlo’s schema penchant is for transformation and so setting up little science experiments for him to explore is so much fun.

You will need:

  • Ice cube tray
  • Food colouring
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A tray
  • A beaker
  • Pipettes

I began by mixing up food colouring and water in an ice cube tray and letting this freeze overnight. I ended up leaving these in the freezer for a while and pulling them out on a quiet afternoon when we needed something to do

The set up was simple – I simply poured baking soda on to a tray and scattered the ice cubes over randomly, and then popped a small amount of vinegar in to a beaker with a pipette. I’ve found that when I only provide a small amount Arlo knows to use it sparingly and takes his time to approach the play task.

Then it was simply a case of supervising the play – as soon as the liquid touched the powder it began to fizz and so Arlo was super interested. He started trying out dripping the vinegar on different colours and then at different angles to see what the difference would be.

As the ice began to melt he wanted to move around the cubes to mix different colours and

Also realised that more powder created better bubbles and so he asked for a spoon to scoop the powder from the edges on to his favourite colour cubes. When the vinegar in his beaker ran out he used the pipette to squeeze up liquid back from the tray and re-use it.

A really simple but effective tray play idea, I always keep baking soda and vinegar in my play resources cupboard and it’s fun trying to think of new ways to play. Our colour reveal in a cupcake tray was another success.

Rainbow Snow Activity

I’ve never seen Arlo have quite as much fun as we did today. We’ve been lucky enough to have lots of snow recently and last night it was coming down thick and fast so I decided to put together this activity for the morning.

You will need:

  • Water based poster paint
  • Water
  • Condiment bottles

All you need to do is add a small amount of paint in to a bottle and fill it up with water. Shake them well and then let loose on the snow.

The spray bottles lasted a lot longer than the squeezey bottles which I topped up a couple of times. We started off tentatively with the primary colours – testing out mixing the sprays to make new colours and trying to be a bit educational – also utilising those hand muscles too.

Then we went crazy with the spray bottles – flinging the paint around and making rainbow colours in the snow – Arlo enjoyed making circles by spinning around.

We invented a new game by address my colours to snow balls and then throwing them to make some really cool splats on the garden shed.

We built a snowman together in the garden and he got his own technicolour coat to match Arlo’s – here’s a short video which shows how our morning went:

For more of our snow and ice activities click below