Impress your kids with some simple science play!

Does It React? Simple Science Lab Play

Does it React?

We’re on our summer break from homeschooling, but with four busy boys we still need some structure around here! The other morning, I told the boys that we were going to do a science experiment, and they were very interested. Since it’s summer I presented this more as a play activity, but you could easily make this into a more structured experiment.

I set out the following materials and told them to test which things react and which things don’t:

  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Alka Seltzer tablets
  • Water
  • Muffin pans (for mixing)
  • Small plastic bottles
  • Water droppers

I bought the plastic bottles at Hobby Lobby. They were in packages of two for $1.99 each. They were perfect for this activity, and I’m sure we will use them often! I found them in the aisle with sea shells and colored sand.

Does It React? Science Lab Play

They have never seen Alka Seltzer before, and they enjoyed watching it bubble and fizz. We did a test to see what made it fizz the most – water, vinegar, or lemon juice. I was surprised by the result. The lemon juice created the most fizz!

Does It React? Science Lab Play

Owen mixed lemon juice and vinegar, and then spooned in some baking soda.

Does It React? Science Lab Play

He was totally impressed with the result!

Does it React? Science Lab Play

Using the water droppers is great for fine motor skills, and the boys had so much fun mixing and pouring. Everyone was happily busy for about 45 minutes, and then we just hosed off the patio table when they were done!

Does it React: Science Lab Play

We didn’t do food coloring this time, but that’s another simple way to just play with water. Fill jars with different colors of water, and provide droppers and containers for mixing the water.

Or – add coloring to vinegar to make colored eruptions with baking soda!

Make it a science project:

Give your kids a chart to record what items they mixed and whether they reacted or not. Do some reading on acids and bases (Alka Seltzer contains two different substances that are bases – one is baking soda) and why they react.


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  1. Donna Witt Jun 16, 2014

    This is awesome! It's exactly what my little chemist LOVES to do! We must think alike because I had already given my son an old muffin pan for mixing. Thank you for your great ideas.


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