Are your older KIDS looking for something fun to do? Or are you looking for something to keep them busy where they can learn a thing or two? This exploding bag experiment is a fun summer learning activity for KIDS!
Today, we are going to share with you an AWESOME must-try experiment for the summer! We will also share some tips & tricks on how to get every bag to go BOOM!
Be sure to check out the super quick video below to see some EXPLODING bags in action!
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Does the Exploding Bag Experiment Really work?
We tested out a few recipes that we found online & followed them accordingly. As far as the bags exploding it was hit or miss. When they did it wasn’t much of a “BOOM”, it was more like a fizzle.
We experimented with different size bags, different amounts of vinegar, baking soda & tried with/without water. And that is what it’s all bout, EXPERIMENTING & then learning from it!
It was amazing to find ways to speed up OR slow down the chemical reaction! The demonstration that we are showing today is for the fastest reaction we found.
Tips & Tricks for the ULTIMATE Exploding Bag (Experiment)
So here’s what we found for best success for the fastest chemical reaction & loudest “BOOM!”
- Don’t use too much paper towel. Just enough to wrap the 3T of baking soda in. (Use a tiny piece of tape to hold in place if needed)
- Add food coloring to the vinegar so you can see the bubbles form better.
- Let excess air out of the bag prior to sealing the baking soda in.
- The bags sometimes move as they are filling up so set up accordingly.
- If the bag flips over & starts to leak it will still explode so use caution (ask me how I found. this out & yes, I edited that part out)
- Reuse – paper towel (if a good quality one) just rinse it out and let it dry to reuse.
- Bags can be reused for other projects if you rinse them and dry them out. Some bags did reseal and we used them the next time. Most did not but keeping them to cut and use for other projects.
- If you can have someone videotape or take photos of the process. It is amazing to watch in slow-motion the reaction of the gas building up & how it pushes the liquid out!
For safety, we recommend that you..
- USE CAUTION – the bags do move during this process & they do project the liquid out a few feet!
– If you want to tone down the reaction –
-wrap the baking soda tightly in half of a sheet or more vs 1/4 OR
-decrease the amount of baking soda to 2T. OR
-add half of a cup of warm water to the vinegar
- Wear eye protection
- Have adult supervision
- Do this project outside – again this liquid does explode out a few feet & no one wants to clean that up inside.
- WARNING – you don’t want your baking soda to release prior to sealing the bag or the chemical reaction starts right away – You want your baking soda packets wrapped tight
Materials for EXPLODING Bag Experiment
- Food coloring (optional)
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of vinegar
- Ziploc freezer bags (quart size) Grab other sizes to experiment with
- 1/4 sheet of thick paper towel OR (1/2 sheet if thin)
Tools for EXPLODING Bag Experiment
- Liquid measuring cup
- Tablespoon measuring spoon
- Safety eyewear
- Piece of tape (if needed)
Things to look for…
- Do you see bubbles forming?
- Did you see how fast the bag started to expand air once the paper towel opened?
- What part of your bag blew out?
How to Make Exploding Bags
- What is your hypothesis? What do you think the outcome will be when you add these ingredients? Write down different ways you’d like to experiment with these ingredients (see more ideas below)
- Put on eye protection.
- Take 1 cup of vinegar in a plastic Ziploc bag & seal. Add a few drops of food coloring if you want.
- Take 3 Tablespoons of baking soda & place in the center of your paper towel.
- Fold all 4 sides of your paper towel keeping the baking soda tucked inside (add a piece of tape if needed)
- Open the bag & tuck the filled paper towel close to the top and keep hold of it with one hand as you seal the bag with the other hand. Try to remove as much air as you can in the process.
- Now let that bag loose! Shake, throw & Bam!
The Science Behind Baking Soda & Vinegar Reaction
Baking Soda, also known as, sodium bicarbonate, is a BASE. The ACID is vinegar, also known as acetic acid. When the two are combined they create a gas called Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is also the same gas that we exhale.
The gas builds up and has no place to go but out through the weakest point of the bag.
Now Try Your Own EXPLODING Bag Experiment!
So in this demonstration, we showed one way to complete this experiment. Now try a few different changes to see what effect you will get.
- What would happen if you tried adding 1/2 cup of warm water?
- What would happen if you decreased the baking soda to 2 tablespoons or increased to 4 tablespoons?
- Do you get a faster or slower reaction when you use half of a sheet of paper towel vs 1/4?
- What happens when you try a different size bag?
- What happens when you duct tape the zipper part of the bag?
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- Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint (extra bottles of white for the look of icing)
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4. Sculpey Polymer Clay – I could do an entire post just on the different things my kids create each week with this amazing clay!
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Markers & Pens
6. Permanent Sharpie Markers – Of course, for younger kids, these need supervision or you may find permanent artwork in places you’d prefer not to. There are some art projects that welcome a non-smearing or fading marker & these fit the bill! 30 colors of Sharpies
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Glue & Sealer
9. Mod Podge Water-based Sealer, Glue & Decoupage Finish (gloss version) & (matte version). They have a variety of different kinds of sealers depending on your project needs.
10. Gorilla Dual Temp Glue Gun – Parent supervision for younger kids. We like this brand for a smaller glue gun – this set even comes with the sticks!
Thank you for stopping by! We hope you enjoyed this demonstration post on “How to Make EXPLODING BAGS!:
Please share with us by commenting below if you have ever tried this activity. What is your favorite baking soda & vinegar experiment?
Blessings in Jesus Name,
Kim & KIDS!
*Classy Kids Create offers ideas for crafts, DIY’s & Activities that may not be suitable for all ages. Please use your discretion on what is best and safest for your child. Some steps in our tutorials may need adult assistance (like the use of certain glues or paint).
Please keep in mind that the kids testing these activities are in their tween years & have been crafting since they were toddlers. (Some steps, like spray paint or use of strong glue I do completely for them)