These magic fizzing popsicle paints are an awesome kids’ science project for all ages.
One hot day a few weeks ago, I pulled out a batch of the magical popsicles from our freezer and invited my 4 year-old daughter to start painting. She was thrilled when her masterpiece began fizzing! Ready to make your own batch of magic fizzing popsicle paints? Read on.
To prep, I gathered a few supplies:
- A popsicle mold
- Baking soda
- A paint brush
- Food coloring (liquid watercolors would work well too)
- Watercolor paper
A couple important notes about this popsicle paint – I made the popsicles the night before to give them time to freeze. Since vinegar has a lower freezing point than water, I also turned my freezer temperature down to 28 degrees.
To make the popsicles , I filled the popsicle molds with vinegar until it almost reached the top. Then, I added several drops of food color to each pop, gave them a good stir and placed them in the freezer.
To prep the watercolor paper for the fizzy reaction, I mixed about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with water until the mixture was about as runny as white glue. Next, I used my paintbrush to paint a nice thick coating of the baking soda mixture over the entire surface of the watercolor paper and set it aside to dry. (You might want to make several sheets. I ended up having to make more on the fly as the kids had so much fun we quickly ran out of the few sheets I pre-made.)
Magic Fizzing Popsicle Paint
The next afternoon, I grabbed the baking soda paper and pops and headed outside with my very excited 4 year-old to paint. I wanted A to enjoy painting and watching the baking soda and vinegar reaction without any constraints. A, however, wanted to watch her name bubble up and had a blast making other fizzy letters on other sheets.
“How did you get the popsicles to fizz mama?” A asked.
I had her feel the paper. “Does it feel different?” I inquired.
“It feels powdery,” she said.
I explained that I covered the paper with baking soda and made the popsicle paint out of vinegar.
We’ve done many activities with baking soda and vinegar before, so A knows what happens when the two chemicals mix. This time I explained acids and bases to A in simple terms. We talked about how acids taste sour. A decided she needed to taste the vinegar and baking soda and then we thought of a few more foods (like lemon and oranges) that are acidic.
A then turned her attention back to painting and 14 sheets later, I had a colorful, bubbly mess and a wonderfully-dyed daughter to clean up. We laid the papers out in the sun to dry. They were beautiful!!
The Science Behind It
When the vinegar (an acid) in the popsicle touches the baking soda (a base), a chemical reaction occurs, releasing carbon dioxide gas that produces fizzy bubbles. For more fun kids’ science, whip up a batch of magic balloons, make pop rockets and pour a rainbow in a jar.