Do your kids love doing science experiments, but you have done the basic vinegar, and baking soda experiment a million times? Maybe you are like my husband, and you hate the smell of vinegar? Either way, it’s time for you to try this amazing fizzing lemon experiment. If you are like me, and you love it when art, meets science, then this activity is perfect for you! The best thing about this activity is that it’s cheap. All you need is baking soda, lemons, dish soap, and food coloring, (or liquid watercolors if you have them). I have to give a big thank you to @Friendsartlab over on Instagram for introducing this activity to me.
You can even add extra fine motor practice to this activity, by using plastic pipettes (eye droppers), to drop the liquid watercolors on the lemons, like we did.
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Materials We Used-
- Baking soda
- Food coloring, or liquid watercolors. We used these – Sargent Art Fluorescent Watercolor Magic Set
- Party platter (or some kind of storage container to hold the lemony fizzy mess)
- Plastic table cloth- We use a shower curtain liner to catch any stray drops of color, then I just throw it in the washing machine to clean it.
- Plastic Transfer Pipettes (Eye Droppers) ** Optional
- Craft sticks, to poke the lemons (we just ended up using our fingers.) **Optional
- Plastic Ice Pop Mold – We use this to hold the liquid watercolors when we use pipettes. **Optional
- Cookie Sheet Pan- To hold all your supplies such as the food coloring, pipettes, liquid watercolors, and craft sticks. Then you can pile all the supplies on the pan for quicker clean up!
- Small bowl for the baking soda.
How to Set Up The Experiment-
- Collect all of your materials.
- Lay out your table cloth, and all of your materials.
- I placed my liquid watercolors into plastic ice pop molds, and added my liquid dish soap, plus a little water into one of the ice pop holes.
- Then I placed one plastic pipette in each color. My daughter doesn’t like it when the colors in the cups mix, so we use a separate pipette for each color. You can use one pipette for everything if you choose.
- I placed the ice pop molds on top of a cookie sheet pan, to collect any color drops that might fall. If you don’t have eye droppers, or liquid water colors, you can just set out your food coloring bottles, and a bottle of liquid dish soap. I still recommend placing all your supplies on top of a cookie pan for easier clean up!
- I filled a small bowl with some baking soda, and placed it on our work surface. I didn’t place it on the cookie sheet, because I didn’t want my daughter getting the colors in the baking soda powder before she used it.
- Next, I used the lid of a large party platter, and filled it with slices of lemons. I just sliced the lemons in half, and tossed them in the container. You could use any bucket you want. I usually use a large storage container for activities like this, but I didn’t buy enough lemons to fill a container that big. After setting everything up, we were ready to start the fun part.
- Have your child poke the lemons with a craft stick, or their fingers to release the acidic juices, and give the color somewhere to settle.
- Drop some color, and dish soap on to your lemons.
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the lemons.
- Poke the lemons to mix the acidic juices, with the baking soda, and watch it fizz! You can poke them with a craft stick, or your finger. Once you poke them, you can also have fun squeezing the lemons, and watching them bubble up. This has got to be one of the most beautiful science experiments I have ever seen. Plus it smells amazing!
We did each lemon one at a time, to make the activity last longer. Next time, I am definitely going to buy more lemons. It’s times like these, that I wish I had a lemon tree! Once we squeezed out all the juice that we could, and there was no more left to create a reaction, my daughter still wasn’t ready for the experiment to be over. Like the smart mom that I am, I busted out the vinegar, because we all know that vinegar, and baking soda create amazing fizz. If your kids are older, you might ask them what else could also create the same reaction, and then have them go to town recreating the fizz with vinegar. My daughter is only two, and doesn’t fully understand all the details, so I didn’t really worry too much about her knowing what was creating the reactions. I do explain everything, but for the most part, I just like to let her experiment with all the materials, and have fun with science. What is your favorite science experiment? Do you have one that combines art, and science? I’d love to hear your ideas.
If you liked this experiment, you might also like, these beautiful fizzing flowers.