We have a really entertaining science activity today for little ones! And – I bet you already have all the ingredients in your cupboard. Follow our steps to make your popping corn become HOPPING corn!
This corn will hop up and down repeatedly in your container for over an hour. It’s so much fun to watch (mesmerizing would be the best word to describe it) and it creates a great opportunity to talk about gases, liquids, and solids with your child.
You Will Need:
- a clear glass container
- popping corn
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp. of baking soda
- 6 Tbsp. of white vinegar
- food colouring (optional)
That’s it! I told you you probably had it in your kitchen already.
- Fill your jar with water and add a couple drops of food colouring.
- Add your baking soda and stir well until it is all dissolved.
- Add a small handful of popping corn kernels.
- Add the vinegar and watch the corn start to hop up and down!
Onetime, my 3 year old son, really enjoyed this activity. We measured all the ingredients out together and then he was responsible for adding them into the jar at the right time.
Talk about a terrific way to work on measurement concepts, listening skills, and practising patience too!
Although it wasn’t necessary to stir the corn once it was hopping, Onetime wanted to do this to see what would happen!
I always try to encourage Onetime’s natural curiosity with these type of activities. I knew that the stirring wasn’t going to “mess up” the reaction – so my response is Go for it! and What do you think will happen when you stir the water? Let’s experiment!
(All the extra stirring did was get the corn going a little faster for a bit!)
Basically the science behind the activity is that when the baking soda and vinegar combine, they react to form carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. The gas forms bubbles in the water which circle around the corn kernels. The bubbles lift the kernels up to the surface and when they get there they pop and the kernels sink again.
The “hopping” continues until the vinegar and baking soda have finished reacting. For us, it lasted over an hour!
PLEASE PIN ME & SHARE THE FUN!
If you enjoy this activity, you may also want to try making a Hurricane in a Jar. If you’re interested in finding even more simple science experiments and activities for young children, check out our SCIENCE ACTIVITIES page.
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