Elementary Science: Chemical Reactions

“The more I study science the more I believe in God,” Albert Einstein once remarked. I couldn’t agree more with this eccentric scientist.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Two everyday household ingredients. Both have been used since ancient times. The Sumerians used vinegar as a medicine, a condiment, and a detergent. They made this invaluable solution by leaving wine in an open container until it turned sour. The ancient Egyptians were known to use baking soda as a toothpaste, a body wash, and as the main ingredient for the mummification process. Baking Soda is pure Sodium Bicarbonate, which is a component of Natron. Natron can readily be found in many mineral springs throughout northern Egypt.

With these simple household materials, you can create what is known as “Fizzle Stones.” The beauty of these stones is that they “dissolve” to reveal a treasure inside.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we allow Jesus into our hearts, we become much like these Fizzle Stones as Jesus dissolves away our ugly and sinful outer covering, uncovering the treasures of our heart.

Fizzle Stones
What you need:

  • 1 ¼ cup baking soda
  • 4 T water
  • Plastic jewelry, coins, small plastic toys or anything you can pass off as treasure
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • Large clear bowl or pitcher

What to do:

  • Mix baking soda and water in a small bowl to form a stiff dough
  • Make a “stone” by molding the dough around one of your “treasures”
  • Let the stone dry overnight or bake in a 150 degree oven for 30 minutes
  • Drop the stone into the bowl of vinegar
  • Watch as the stone fizzles away to reveal the treasure inside 

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord God looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Want to have more fun with vinegar and baking soda?

Blow up a balloon
What you need:

  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • a bottle
  • a balloon

What to do:

  • Pour the baking soda in the bottle.
  • Pour the vinegar in the bottle.
  • Quickly put the balloon on the top of the bottle. My husband created this little stopper to help quickly get the balloon on top of the bottle. It is simply a small piece of cardboard, rolled up, and taped to fit perfectly into the bottle.

When the vinegar (an acid) reacts with the baking soda (a base) it forms the gas carbon dioxide, which exits the bottle and inflates the balloon.

Volcano
What you need:

  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 cups salt
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Plastic bottle
  • Red food coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda

Mix the first 4 ingredients until smooth and firm (more water may be added if needed).What to do:

  • Fill the bottle halfway with baking soda and add a few drops of red food coloring.
  • Stand the bottle in a baking pan and mold the dough around it into a volcano shape. Don’t cover the hole or drop dough into it.
  • Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle. Watch out – eruption time!

It is easy to become a scientist! Its as easy as combining two ordinary materials to make one very unusual chemical reaction. I hope you’ll have fun experimenting with your kids!

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

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