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February 15, 2012

Baking Soda and Vinegar Eruptions

Color Mixing Eruptions

Exploring color theory with baking soda and vinegar eruptions - simple science for kids!

Exploring color theory with baking soda and vinegar is one of our favorite ways to make eruptions.  We've done this many times, starting when JZ (6) and J-Bug (5) were toddlers.  The other day I set up the same invitation we have done many times, but this time Peanut and Tank (34 months) were included.  Of course they have enjoyed baking soda and vinegar eruptions many times, but this was the first time they watched the color mixing eruptions.

How to Make Color Mixing Eruptions with Baking Soda and Vinegar

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I added liquid watercolors to vinegar in two glass jars, and I set out two vases full of baking soda.  I was generous with the baking soda, so the boys could add the colored vinegar more than once.  I also added a small squirt of Dawn to the baking soda.  Dawn isn't necessary, but it creates super foamy eruptions.  For the first round I used yellow and blue liquid watercolors.  We have also used food coloring.  The results aren't quite as bright, but they are just as exciting.

Before letting the boys pour the colored vinegar into the baking soda I asked them what they expected would happen.

JZ's first response was that they would erupt.  Of course he was right, but I prodded him to predict further.

Eventually he realized what I was asking and predicted that as the two dishes overflowed the colors would blend into a green color.  One thing I love about this experiment is that the colors don't fully mix.  As you can see above, there is yellow, green, and blue in the dish.  I love the vibrant colors.  They make me happy.

We repeated the color theory experiment with red and yellow colored vinegar, and JZ predicted that the colors would blend to create orange.  Note:  The yellow looks orange in the jar, but it's yellow.

Color theory eruptions with baking soda and vinegar - now that's fun science!

We did each color set three times.  I refilled the vinegar each time, and there was enough baking soda in the vases to continue reacting.

Learning about color theory with erupting science.

The boys' first reaction every time is to stick their hands in the foam.  Note:  touching the mixture is perfectly safe, but be sure your children keep their hands away from their eyes.

Color theory science for kids

I love how foamy the added Dawn soap makes the reactions.

How to get super foaming baking soda and vinegar eruptions.

For more ways to make eruptions with baking soda and vinegar follow me on Pinterest.

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More color mixing activities for kids:

Learning about primary and secondary colors with homemade SLIME - exploring color theory through fine motor play. Simple color theory science for kids with colored ice - kids will love mixing the ice and seeing the results!


  1. Love this! Will definitely do with my kids soon. Would you mind if I shared a link to this on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/playandgo

    Many thanks

  2. That looks great, and I love the smily faces! Thanks for joining our challenge. x

  3. The first set of pictures makes me think of the Leo Lionni book: Little yellow, Little blue. It would be awesome


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