Making A Baking Soda Bubble Bomb

Part of our 5th Grade curriculum was selected by T himself. I found several online experiments and asked him to pick out ten he would like to try. Here is the first one he chose. There seems to be something deeply rooted in most boys that cause them to love explosions. I’m all for fireworks but I have never rewound the crash scenes in movies so I could watch them again. T has 🙂 The bigger and louder Hollywood manages it, the happier he is. The thing is, there is real science involved so I was happy to concede to this harmless bubble bomb.

Here is what you will need:

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  • Zip Lock Baggies
  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Take a paper towel and measure out 5 x 5-inch squares – you need one per Bubble Bomb

2. Cut into the pieces.

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3. Fill each square with 1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Soda

 

Now fold into packets.

4. Test your baggies for leaks by filling them up with water and turning them upside down. A bag with a leak won’t work.

5. Now go outside. This gets messy!

6. Pinch the paper towel packets in the corner of the baggie towards the top (you don’t want the liquids to come into contact with it until you are ready.

7. Pour in 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup warm water and close the baggie FAST.

8. Give it a good shake and a toss.

9. Watch it blow!

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You have just witnessed a chemical reaction!

So why does the bubble bomb work? Here is where we learn something interesting and find a good reason to include it in our school day. The bubbles in the Bubble Bomb form a gas called carbon dioxide which is the result of an acid-base reaction. The acid, in this case, is the vinegar and the base is the baking soda.

Check out: Acids and Bases Are EverywhereChem for Kids here to get a greater understanding. We did.

Find out which acids are weak and which acids are strong by visiting Chemistry for Kids here.

We also checked out what Bill Nye – The Science Guy had to say about chemical reactions….


We also went through a cookbook looking for cakes and bread that we know to rise from similar bubbles and found several recipes that didn’t use yeast. Once we found them we searched for which ingredients were the base and which were the acid that caused the bubbles that made that cake rise. We also got hungry and had to take a lunch break.

One last fun and free worksheet can be found at www.education.com – Chemistry Cookies. You can download this here.

We had fun with this and we think you will too. Try it by it all means and share your experience with us. Also, if you have any fun chemistry experiments to share – share away in the comments. We would love to hear from you!