For this Science experiment we used the baking soda vinegar reaction again but in a new fun way! This time the baking soda was mixed with water, jello, and a little “treasure” items in a large tupperware bowl. When we started talking about this pirate treasure hunt Little requested to have an underwater treasure hunt. I always try to make and do everything as close to the request as possible when it comes to school and educational activities, anything to keep the kids interested and enjoy learning. Not having a pool this year I had to get a little more creative to accommodate the request. I made more of the mix than typical so when it began to dissolve it would mimic underwater sand. It took a few tries for me to get the mix just right ti freeze the way I wanted and also dissolve and turn into the constancy of wet sand, but after several failed attempts I finally got and it turned out very well. I was very similar to if had been digging at a beach. I tried to show it best I could in the videos. After it was fully mixed it I slipped in the “treasure” and hid it in the freezer. I created a map and puzzle that eventually led to the freezer, you can check those out along with the pirate downloads by clicking the images and links found on this page!
Once the puzzle was solved the kiddo rushed over and opened the freezer door to retrieve the treasure. The lid was quickly popped off and the little hand reached in and tried to pull a piece of the treasure out but it wouldn’t budge. “Oh no, mom it’s stuck! What do we do?”
We used the vinegar along with droppers, a small measuring cup, mini tongs (Wal-Mart $2) and a plastic spoon to dig up the treasures within. The dropper works better for smaller blocks but the one we had was fairly large so it was only used once to show the reaction. We added a few small drops and watched the block started to fizz and bubble. “Wow! That’s awesome. How do I get my stuff?” That’s where the tongs and spoon cam in handy! to start grabbing things out. I put a few beads and things we later used to make jewelry in a baggies and put them in deepest. It took us about 10-15 minutes or so using the spoon to dig and clear away the baking soda mixture and the tongs to pull the loot out as it loosened pouring in vinegar as needed.
When the treasure was all picked out we got the ingredients to make more so little one could see how it was done. We are one of those families that has Halloween decor and items we use all year round, we have a skull ice-try I got at the Dollar Tree to make crayon molds. We used that to make more of the pasty mix, this time kiddo got to hide some little pieces of treasure!
If you want to make your own frozen baking soda treasure mix it’s very simple. Baking soda, water, and Jell-O mixed together to a thick paste consistency. I made a quick few second video to the right to show you what your going for. It’s typically 3 parts baking soda 1 part water and however much Jell-O you’d like. You know it’s good to go when it looks the most disgusting. 😂
What’s going on here?
Baking soda and vinegar react with each other this way because they exchange atoms. Baking soda is bicarbonate (NaHCO3) and vinegar is acetic acid (HCH3COO). In this reaction baking soda acts as a base and takes a proton from vinegar. The reaction releases gas because when the baking soda receives the proton, it transforms into water and carbon dioxide. The pressure builds and gives you a pretty cool volcano like reaction. In order to get the explosion reaction rather than just the fizz and bubble reaction seen here you’ll want to do you mix in an container with a small opening. The smaller the opening the more volcano like reaction you should get.
Click the images below to check out the whole fun pirate adventure, get your pirate packs, Check out our mini volcano and get your volcano pack! I have also included a pack containing the puzzles and hints we used as well as the templates I used to create them and the map. The puzzle could definitely be used by anyone the hints may or may not apply to you and your home/yard, I’m sure a few of you could probably re-use the hints. I included everything as examples either way, and I included the blank templates as well.
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