Easter is coming and with it the chance to embrace bunnies, eggs and bright spring colours! In this chemistry science experiment we bring all of that together into one fun Easter activity that kids in preschool through Elementary will love!
Fun Easter Activity for Kids
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Mastery through Repetition
I love taking a tried and true experiment, that I know the kids love, and recreating it into something new!
When we take experiments and reinvent them, it gives students a chance to explore concepts again. It provides opportunities for kids that struggled to engage with a previous version of the experiment, to come at it in a new way. The repetition also helps teachers dig a little deeper into the science with each experiment. To explain concepts in new ways. It also provides time for students to gain confidence and mastery, to apply the scientific method and really gain an in-depth understanding of the lesson.
So, we took one of the most simple, budget friendly chemistry experiments from our toolbox and reinvented it to celebrate Easter!
Simple Supplies Chemistry for Easter
One of the things readers of STEAM Powered Family are always looking for is simple activities, kids can do with minimal assistance, with budget friendly supplies.
This is something homeschooling parents look for, teachers in classrooms look for, and educators working through virtual mediums require for their programs.
And one of the classic, most beloved of these experiments is baking soda and vinegar! We have sooooo many baking soda and vinegar experiments. From hatching dino eggs to bottle rockets, puking pumpkins to fireworks, we’ve loved exploring this chemical reaction over the years in many forms.
So as we move slowly out of an extremely long winter, we needed something bright and fun to celebrate Easter and bring brightness to our long, dark days and this Easter Chemistry Experiment was the perfect solution!
Science Easter Activity
Easter Cookie Cutters
Small bottle, pipette, syringe or similar
While doing this experiment, students are working with a weak acid, vinegar. If they get vinegar in their eyes or an open wound, it will hurt. Some children may do best wearing protective equipment such as safety glasses and latex gloves.
You are also working with food colouring which can stain. Ensure the area is protected and provide instruction and supervision to ensure the reaction does not spill over onto clothing or carpets.
Responsible adult supervision is required at all times.
Set the cookie cutters on a tray. Ensure the tray has a lip to catch any spills.
Spoon baking soda into each cookie cutter. Spready it out evenly, filling all the corners of the cookie cutter as best as you can.
Pro Tip: Hold the cookie cutter down so it doesn’t move while completing this step.
Drop food coloring onto the baking soda one drop at a time. Use different colors if desired. For this project, we dropped about 5-8 drops into the baking soda in each cookie cutter.
Prepare the vinegar. If you are using a squirt bottle, fill it with some vinegar. If you are using a pipette or syringe, fill a small bowl with vinegar.
Squirt or drop a little vinegar onto each food coloring drop in the baking soda.
Watch the reaction that takes place!
Continue adding little bits of vinegar until the entire cookie cutter is erupted and coloured.
Easter Science Explained
This Easter activity explores the popular baking soda and vinegar reaction, which is a simple acid-base chemical reaction. Vinegar or Acetic Acid has the chemical formula CH3COOH . Baking soda is a base also known as Sodium Bicarbonate (or Bicarb) and has the chemical formula NaHCO3 . During this reaction the products are sodium acetate ( C2H3NaO2 ). Sodium acetate is made of 1 sodium ion, 2 carbon atoms, 3 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. The other products are water ( H2O) and carbon dioxide ( CO2 ). Carbon dioxide is the gas that causes the bubbling during the reaction.
Here is the chemical formula of this reaction
C2H4O2 + NaHCO3 -> NaC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2
vinegar + sodium bicarbonate -> sodium acetate + water + carbon dioxide
This activity is a fantastic basic chemical reaction experiment that allows for lots of extensions and adaptions based on age, ability and interests. Here are just a few ideas for how you can foster additional learning, discovery and curiosity with this activity.
Have the students use specific colours to see how they blend to create new colours. Discuss Primary and Secondary Colours so they learn the colour wheel.
Create Easter Fireworks
Add some chunky glitter to create a colourful Easter fireworks display as part of your chemical reaction. Check out our Fireworks experiment to learn more about how this is done and hear the awesome crackling!
Measuring a Chemical Reaction
This is a fantastic extension activity for older kids.
First we need to get our initial weights.
Place the cookie cutter on a plate. Then fill it with baking soda. Record the weight.
Now place a small cup on the scale. Note the weight of the cup.
Add 50 mL of vinegar to the cup. Note the new weight of the vinegar and cup together. Calculate the weight of the vinegar without the cup by subtracting. Record this number.
Time for math! Now add the weight of the vinegar without the cup to the total weight of the dish with cookie cutter and baking soda. That is the total starting mass of your chemical reaction. Record this number!
Start the reaction by pouring the vinegar onto the baking soda and watch the reaction. Continue until all of the vinegar is used up.
Once the reaction is completely finished, and you don’t see any bubbles anymore, place the dish on the scale and take a final measurement.
Compare the starting mass of the chemical reaction with the final mass. How did the numbers change? What do you think caused this change in mass? Where did the missing mass go?
Have a Hoppy Happy Easter!