Sunday, November 21, 2010

Science Time – Balloon Inflating Experiments

M loves balloons, and he loves science experiments.  I’ve been meaning to do the first experiment below for some time now, and it finally happened this week.

The idea for the second experiment came from Fun with Mama.


M poured vinegar into a glass bud vase and we scooped some baking soda into our balloon.

pouring vinegar into vase

I attached the balloon to the end of the vase and then M lifted it up so the baking soda would fall into the vinegar, to create carbon dioxide gas.

attaching the balloonThe vinegar and baking soda mixed together, began to fizz up and then the balloon started to expand at a very rapid rate.  At that point both M and I raced into the living room, as we are both deathly afraid of loud noises and were sure this thing was going to burst.  I had the sudden sickening realization that perhaps a glass vase was not the wisest choice for our experiment, since it would most likely be rocketed into a wall and smashed to bits.

Well, thankfully it didn’t break.  We eventually worked up enough courage to venture back into the kitchen and saw this:balloon blowing up

  It worked!



In this experiment we learned about molecules, tiny little invisible things that make up the air (and everything else, but we really didn’t go into that).  When they are warm they move around more and take up more space.  When they are cold they huddle closer together and take up less space.

M prepping the cold container:placing ice in a container

I placed our balloon around the opening of a water bottle (plastic this time!).  I also filled up a second container with very hot water.

M placed the bottle in the hot water, and the balloon inflated!warm air inflates the balloon

He placed it in the cold container and the balloon deflated!cold air deflates the balloon

Mommy really knew what she was talking about with the whole crazy “invisible molecules” thing. ;)

For the record, M loved the second experiment and spent a good 20 minutes doing it over and over again.  First the cold, then the hot, then the cold, then the hot…

Head over to Science Sunday for more science activities!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. oo very fun experiments that worked great for M's age!!

  2. Love that idea! I need to buy some balloons. I hate the whole sore cheek thing inflating balloons. I'm usually all about the helium. :) But this looks like a lot of fun.

  3. This would be a great one for us. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. Ooh, I go the giggles thinking of you both racing away from that first balloon! We're going to have to try it here. With a plastic vase!
    And we've had the second experiment on our list for a week or two but haven't tried it. Maybe this week??

  5. I've never seen the hot and cold balloon inflating. That's a super cool idea.

  6. we're doing something similar this week! how fun!!

  7. Great experiments! I've never seen the hot and cold water experiment either. This was one of my favorite posts this week and I've linked up to it here :


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