Kids loves candles, blowing out candles, and magic, right?! So introducing them to a science activity that combines all three is a sure win. Of course, we can’t forget the fact that the children will be learning chemistry (gasp!) while doing the activity. You read correctly. This chemistry activity for kids explores the density of air and carbon dioxide.
You will perform a bit of magic for the kids, you’ll hook them, and then let them know that what they witnessed was not in fact magic but science.
To prep, I first gathered a few supplies:
- Tea light Candles
- Baking Soda
- Towel or Sponge
- Safety Goggles
Chemistry Activity for Kids
Since letting kids play with fire is never a good idea, I demonstrated the experiment in front of the children.
I invited them over to join me. I placed the tea light in the center of our bowl.
Then I said, “In just a moment, I’m going to light this candle. Do you think I can put out the flame without blowing on it?” They were unanimously convinced it couldn’t be done.
The children helped me sprinkle 1 tablespoon of baking soda around the candle.
I lit the wick with my lighter. (Adults should do this part with younger children.)
The kids helped me gently pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the bowl and the flame went out!
Imagine their gaping mouths and open eyes filled with awe. “The candle went out!” I said. “How might that have happened?”
Science Behind the Chemistry Activity
Fire needs Oxygen to burn.
The reaction between the baking soda and carbon dioxide creates carbon dioxide. Since Carbon Dioxide is heavier (or more dense) than Oxygen, it pushes that air out of the way. Without Oxygen, the flame is put out. That’s why many fire extinguishers are filled with Carbon Dioxide!
Never underestimate the power of your kitchen to curate beautiful and simple science activities for kids. Science is magical. Science activities like this chemistry activity for kids will hook a child. You will create a sense of awe and wonder in the child that will last a lifetime. Go forth, experiment, observe, research, and experiment again! Most of all, have loads of fun!
Foolproof Science for Kids
Grab our 30 favorite kids’ science activities plus a done-for-you journal in our Super Cool Science Kit!