Last month, I started a Fizzy, Fun Preschool Science Activity series with Fizzing Sidewalk Paint. I missed a week, but I'm back now with Part 2: Fizzing Lemonade!
My goal at this point is to expose my preschooler to another simple reaction and let her hear words like "mixing" and "reaction" and review concepts she's already familiar with like liquid, gas, and bubbles. I like to explain to her what we will do and then ask her what she thinks will happen. These conversations lay the foundation to introduce ideas like hypothesizing, testing, acids, and bases. Lemonade is an acid and baking soda is a base, but I'm still not ready to categorize reactants yet. My toddlers also enjoy the reaction and are exposed to more vocabulary and experiences.
What do you do? You mix baking soda, broken spaghetti sticks, and lemonade together. I let the kiddos break the dry spaghetti noodles into (about) one inch pieces and put several in the vase and two in the cup. It's easier to watch the noodles in the cup. They each put a spoonful of baking soda in the vase and a much smaller spoonful in the cup. Then, Kaia poured the lemonade in the vase. After the oohs and aahhs, we poured some lemonade into the cup too. For lemonade, I used Crystal Light powder. The powder was supposed to make two quarts, but we only added enough water to make five cups. That made it a slightly more concentrated acid.
What do you see? The baking soda and lemonade react and form bubbles (carbon dioxide). Yay...fizzing!! The bubbles collected on the rough, uneven surface of the spaghetti noodles. When a noodle had enough bubbles on it, the bubbles lifted the noodle to the top of the cup, like the balloon that lifted Winnie the Pooh in The Honey Tree. When the noodle reached the top of the lemonade, the bubbles popped and the noodle went back to the bottom of the cup. This process repeated several times.
Kaia also wondered what would happen if we added food coloring, so I let the kiddos each put in a drop of food coloring. Always encourage the curiosity!