The focus of this activity was learning about acid-base reactions. Vinegar is an acid; baking soda is a base. When you mix the two together, they react and create carbon dioxide gas. When that reaction is contained in a zip-locked plastic bag, the gas that is being created continues to expand and pushes against the walls of the bag until POP! The bag explodes!
Today, we are going to try a similar activity with a little twist. Instead of just using baking soda and vinegar, we are going to use glow-in-the-dark vinegar to create super cool glowing paint bombs! When the paint bombs explode over your paper, you’ll be left with awesome glowing paint-splatter art! This would be a great activity for a Halloween party!
For a quick explanation of acid-base reactions, check out this link: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/chemical/acidbase.html
Want an even more in-depth explanation? Check out this Crash Course video:
YOU WILL NEED
- Glow-in-the-dark paint
- Baking soda
- Plastic zip-lock bags
- Toilet paper squares
- Poster board
Here’s what to do!
- First of all, we recommend you do this activity outside, because it will get a little messy! Before you can create your exploding paint bombs, you need to concoct the glow-in-the-dark vinegar. Add one cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of glow-in-the-dark paint to a mixing bowl. Glow-in-dark paint is available at craft stores or on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/DecoArt-DS50-3-Glow-in-the-Dark-Paint-2-Ounce/dp/B001B2P498/ref=sr_1_8?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1445224020&sr=1-8&keywords=glow+in+the+dark+paint). Stir the two ingredients together until they are fully blended. Use separate containers to mix other colors of glow-in-the-dark vinegar. You could also use fluorescent paint to create even more colors: (http://www.amazon.com/Color-Black-light-Fluorescent-Acrylic/dp/B00E1P4BRS/ref=sr_1_7?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1445224020&sr=1-7&keywords=glow+in+the+dark+paint).
- Once your glow-in-the-dark vinegar is mixed, dump it into a plastic zip-lock bag and seal the bag shut. Set the bag aside.
- Place the poster board on the ground. Get ready to create some glow-in-the-dark splatter art!
- Next, you need to create your baking soda reactor. Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda onto the center of one square of toilet paper. Fold the edges inward so you have a toilet-paper ball with baking soda in the center.
- Pick up your plastic bag full of glowing vinegar and open it up. This is the toughest part, because you will need to move quickly! Carefully drop the baking soda reactor into the plastic bag full of glowing vinegar and quickly seal the bag shut. Place the bag on the poster board and watch what happens!
- The bag will expand as vinegar and baking soda react. That carbon dioxide gas will eventually cause the bag to EXPLODE! into beautiful glow-in-the-dark art!
- Repeat steps 1-6 with different colors of glow-in-the-dark vinegar to add more colors to your artwork. After you’re done, shut the lights off to see what you’ve created!
Extension: Time how long it takes for your glow-in-the-dark paint bomb to explode. Adjust the levels of vinegar or baking soda and time again. Does more vinegar or more baking soda affect the time it takes the paint bombs to explode?