It seems like forever since I’ve done a School with Squeaker post! Our tot-school this year has been incredibly informal and sporadic. I go off of her lead and her interests but I don’t have set activities or a schedule for her yet. This is based on her age. Yes, her attention span is increasing but she’s also 2. That’s not to say that I don’t do activities or crafts with her or that she doesn’t have access to materials. She does. I just haven’t planned it out exactly and again, I go by her interests. I want to keep it fun for her and I know she’s still absorbing all of the information, just that it happens in unplanned situations. And honestly, that’s how I want it to be. One of the things that she really enjoyed was a simple science for toddlers activity that also turned into a sensory activity. I also managed to sneak colors and fine motor activities in so it was a win all around.
I’m sure that we’ve all come to realize that vinegar + baking soda is always going to have some sort of reaction. I mean, that’s how many of us made our first homemade volcano or how some of us may opt to clear a clogged drain.
Regardless of how or when you learned, revisiting this simple concept with a toddler is fun.
But why do they do what they do? Well that’s the science part of it and for an older child, you can really get into the numerous explanations. For our purposes though, we just needed to know that when vinegar is combined with baking soda, we get a nice fizzy sound and a puffy texture.
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Food Coloring
- Aluminum foil (optional)
- Small baking tray (optional)
- Containers to hold vinegar and baking soda (two or more depending on how many colors you use)
- Eye droppers
I ended up using two of the droppers from old medicine containers since we didn’t need them anymore. I had two small containers for the vinegar and one larger one for the baking soda. Vinegar colors very well so we only used maybe four-to-five drops per batch of vinegar. Blue and green were our choices because that’s what we had on hand. Maybe next time we’ll do this with more colors.
Part of the sensory experience came about pretty quickly when Squeaker smelled that vinegar. I’m not crazy about the smell either, but it’s something that you just have to deal with.
After showing her what to do I left the rest up to her. She started to clump it over in a few corners but overall she had fun with it. Her next step was wanting to play with the baking soda. So for this step, I got one of our smaller cookie sheets, covered it with aluminum foil (for easier clean up), and spread some more baking soda on the tray.
Then she dropped more of the vinegar on there and was pretty excited to play with the result.
I think she had more fun with this part then dropping the vinegar into the baking soda.
Overall, we had a lot of fun with this and it was super easy to set up and clean up. While we may not be doing themes this year I think we will aim to do more simple science for toddlers experiences.
Be sure to check out these awesome science activities for toddlers.