Make a soda bottle rocket with simple household materials! This fun science demonstration is easy to do and will definitely impress your kids. Our rocket flew higher than our two story house!
This is a fun outside project for kids of all ages. Use a simple baking soda and vinegar reaction to launch your rocket. Who knew that baking soda and vinegar had that much power?
Here is what you need to make one:
- A 2 liter soda bottle
- 3 pencils (unsharpened is best)
- Duct tape
- A cork that fits the soda bottle
- Paper towels
- Baking soda
- Vinegar – we went through an entire large bottle, so get a lot!
First, prepare your rocket. Basically, all we did was to build a stand for the rocket. We were concerned that adding decorations would make the rocket heavier, which would not allow it to go as high.
We went to a birthday party a couple weeks ago and made a bottle rocket with a water bottle. They used pencils as “feet” for the rocket to stand on, and I thought it was a brilliant idea!
Once your rocket is ready, it’s time to launch!
I failed to get a good photo of our baking soda packets, but what you need is a small square of paper towel (we used half of a select-a-size paper towel). Dump in some baking soda (we didn’t measure) and fold the paper towel around it. It needs to be narrow enough to fit through the mouth of your bottle. You can kind of see our baking soda packet in the photo below.
Pour in some vinegar. We used about two inches worth, but again we didn’t measure.
(Turn this into a science experiment by using different quantities of baking soda and vinegar and recording how high your rocket goes!)
After pouring in the vinegar, quickly push in the baking soda packet and then push in the cork. Turn the bottle over and wait for it to launch! It can take up to 30 seconds.
Be careful of pushing in the cork too tightly – our first rocket did not launch because of that, and when we pulled the cork out it had a LOT of pressure behind it. Once Aidan got the hang of how tightly to push it in, our launches were all successful after that.
Be sure to stand back… It’s starting to foam!
LIFTOFF! What a great demonstration of Newton’s 3rd law of motion!
Here’s a video of our rocket in action:
It’s a great time of year to get outside! Here are more fun backyard projects:
- Make a Pool Noodle Rocket Flinger – easy homemade toy!
- Build Your Own American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course – Kids can change this around to create a new obstacle course every time!
- Here are several fun Backyard Projects from One Crazy House. Love these ideas for creating a fun play space!