Inflate a Balloon with science

We love this crafty science experiment. So simple, our 2 yr old does it all the time, and he is already starting to understand the concept of carbon dioxide and helium gases.

You’ll need:


Baking soda

White vinegar

Small plastic bottle

2 funnels

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  1. Take a small plastic bottle, and pour vinegar, via funnel, into the bottle. Fill up around ¼ of the bottleballoon experiement_5_Copy
  2. Take your balloon, use the 2nd funnel that is dry, and pour the baking soda into the balloon. Fill it up ½ way
  3. Put the balloon over the top of the bottle. Don’t let any of the baking soda fall into the bottle until you are ready to inflate the balloon. When you are ready, lift the balloon up, letting the baking soda fall into the bottle.

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4.   Then just watch as the balloon expands getting bigger and bigger.

5.   When finished, take the balloon up, tie and the child can play with the inflated balloon.

6.   My husband, loving science and math, also explained the science behind this experiment. We recommend discussing this with your child before and again after. Discuss how the baking soda and vinegar produces a gas, carbon dioxide, and this gas then inflates the balloon. Our child loves balloons and knows that helium makes balloons go up. Let your children know that carbon dioxide inflates the balloons but only helium can make the balloon go up in the air. balloon experiement_2_Copy


Also, here is the formula which my brilliant husband wrote out for us

C2 H4 O2 + NaHCO3= Na+C2H3O2+H2O+CO2

I like the picture to the right. Showing daddy cleaning, after breakfast, before picture taking….looks like he’s being touched up for a big film debut!


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