• Sarah Caughron

Gassy Friends

This activity is a fun twist on the classic vinegar + baking soda experiment!

(Scroll to bottom of page for a video demo.)


  • White vinegar

  • Baking Soda

  • Plastic water bottle or equivalent (top needs to be small enough for a balloon mouth to stretch over it)

  • Chopstick (if needed to tamp the baking soda down the funnel)

  • Balloon

  • Permanent Marker

  • Funnel

  • 1/4 or 1/2 cup measuring cup

  • Tablespoon measuring spoon

  • Towel to clean up any spills

  • Cookie sheet or tray (if you want to contain everything in one small area)


Use the permanent marker to draw a fun face on the balloon. I stretched the balloon as pictured to help make that a smoother process for my kids' hands.

Next, place the balloon at the end of a DRY funnel and add about 2 tablespoons of baking soda (it doesn't need to be exact)!

You might need to use a chopstick to help get the baking soda into the balloon, but be careful because if you get too aggressive with the chopstick, you could accidentally puncture the balloon.

Set the baking soda-filled balloon aside and use the funnel to add about 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the water bottle.

Carefully apply the balloon to the mouth of the bottle. Try to get a really good seal on the neck of the bottle to prevent too much gas from escaping.

Now, it's time to meet your gassy friend!

Quickly lift the ballon and empty the baking soda into the bottle. You might need to hold the balloon on the bottle, but you can watch the balloon fill with gas from the chemical reaction you just made!

What's the science going on here?

You've made a chemical reaction! A chemical reaction rearranges the atoms of two or more reactants mixed together. The result is the creation of a different substance, or product.

When you mix vinegar (acetic acid - HCH3COO) and baking soda (bicarbonate - NaHCO3), carbon dioxide (CO2 - the bubbles) is released. This is a fun way to fill a balloon, isn't it?

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