How To Make Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs
Today I’m sharing a twist on one of our favorite simple experiments to do at home fizzing dinosaur eggs with baking soda and vinegar reactions! There are so many ways that I have set up this investigation for my kids over the years. We have made fizzy potions at Halloween, fizzed alligator swamps, mixed colors of fizzy vinegar and melted fizzy icebergs. It’s such a simple reaction, but it's incredible in the eyes of a child. It’s also a fantastic way to introduce STEM concepts! Even though we’ve done it before, I always have my kids make predictions about what they think will happen. We often also add different ingredients to see how they impact the results. This is STEM for young learners at its best - a simple investigation that promotes so much wonder!
Why Is Sensory Play So Important?
Before I share how to make these eggs, I want to talk a bit about a really important component of sensory play - the tools! In every sensory play set-up I make for my kids, I always include a variety of different tools that they can use to explore. Depending on the activity these can be anything from measuring cups and spoons from my kitchen, to salad tongs, to tweezers, chopsticks and more. The important thing is that you provide your child with options of different tools that they can choose to use as they play.
Why Sensory Is Vital For PreSchooler kids
Learning to work with tools has so many positive impacts on kids, especially those in the pre-writing (or preschool) stage. Manipulating a tool helps strengthen the hand muscles needed for writing, zipping zippers, buttoning buttons and using scissors. It also helps them build muscle memory for tasks like scooping and pouring. Not all kids will take to tools immediately, especially if they’re new to them, and that’s ok! If you continue to provide them with options and allow them to explore, they’ll be doing some really valuable work along the way!
And Now For The Fun Part... How To Make Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs!
-Baking soda (1 box makes 3-4 eggs)
-Shallow pan or baking dish
-Food coloring (optional)
-Lemon juice (optional)
-Tools: I offered eye droppers, a ladle, a teaspoon and a tiny measuring cup
How To Make Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs
- Step 1: Pour your baking soda into a large bowl. Slowly add small amounts of water to the baking soda and stir. Continue adding water until the baking soda reaches a paste-like consistency that packs into a ball like real snow. If you add too much water, just add a bit more baking soda until it is right.
- Step 2: Make a small ball of the baking soda mixture in one hand. Gently press one of the Baby Dino figurines into the ball. Cover with more baking soda mixture and pack until the dinosaur is mostly hidden. Repeat this to make as many eggs as you like! Place all of your eggs into a shallow pan and pop them in the freezer for about 30 min to an hour. Freezing the eggs is optional - you can move on to step 3 immediately if you want! However, I always freeze mine because I know my kids will want to feel them and explore before they start the reaction. Freezing prevents the eggs from falling apart when touched!
- Step 3: Set up your play! I’ve talked in previous posts about how I like to set up any potentially messy play indoors. I usually place it all in a large, shallow plastic box on the floor. This allows my kids to make some mess without it getting out of hand. For this activity, I filled the bottom of a wash bin with some small pebbles and placed the frozen eggs on top. This bin went right into my large plastic box. Next, I diluted some white vinegar with water (about a 1:1 ratio) and added a few drops of green food coloring, just for fun. This also went into the big box. I picked out a few different tools that my kids could use to move the vinegar from the cup to the eggs. These were: eye droppers, a teaspoon, a small ladle and a small measuring cup.
- Step 4: Let the play begin! Allow your kids to choose their tools to move the vinegar and pour it onto the eggs. The fizzing and bubbles should start immediately! As they add more and more vinegar, the baby dinosaurs will start to appear and they can work to extract them.
When my kids did this, they went right for the measuring cup and used up their vinegar mixture pretty quickly. When this happened, I took a moment to explain to them why the vinegar and baking soda make bubbles. We talked about how baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid and how acids and bases react to form gas when they mix. My son asked me if other things would make the eggs fizz, too! We went right to the fridge and pulled out some lemon juice (another acid) to try. It worked! And the bubbles it created were slightly different, too. Just a little reminder to always follow your kid’s lead - they come up with some great ideas!
This post is by Emily Limer, a mom of two little Safari fans and a preschool teacher. You can follow her on Instagram @makingwithmommy for more kids craft and play ideas!
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