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Create your own balloon monster head with a few household items in this Museum at Home DIY experiment with Becky Wolfe and MJ at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Museum at Home: DIY Fizzy Balloon Monster Head

Can you make a balloon look alive?

Science Educator Becky Wolfe and her daughter MJ show you how you can create your very own monster balloons that would make Dr. Frankenstein proud! Add a monster face to your balloon and bring it to life.

A note on safety: Use common sense when it comes to eye protection. For this experiment you should have your children stand back just to be sure the balloon doesn't pop in faces. If you're more comfortable with your kids wearing eye protection, it never hurts.

Materials:

  • Balloon
  • Empty soda bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda

Process:

  1. Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar into the soda bottle.
  2. Hold the mouth of the balloon open and have your child pour about a teaspoon of baking soda into the balloon.
  3. Shake the soda into the “bulb” or the main part of the balloon.
  4. Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle, trying to keep the main part of the balloon off to the side (so the soda isn’t dumped into the bottle right away).  
  5. Ask your kids what they think will happen when you mix the two things together.
  6. Let your child shake the soda into the bottle, all at once.
  7. Stand back and watch what happens!
If the seal is tight, which it should be, the reaction between the soda and the vinegar will form a gas that inflates the balloon. A large enough balloon won't explode, but if your balloon is over-inflating, simply take it off of the bottle. Just pay attention and you’ll be fine.

What's going on:

Baking soda is a chemical called sodium bicarbonate. Vinegar is called acetic acid. These two chemicals react to form some different chemicals.  One of these is carbon dioxide gas. This is called a chemical reaction. The gas is what inflates the balloon. We know a reaction is happening because we can see bubbles forming. 
 
What else do your kids notice about the reaction? Have them record (or help them to record) what they see. Older kids can draw what they see and then try to describe it. Have them touch the bottle. Does it feel warmer or cooler than room temperature? A temperature change is also a clue that a chemical reaction is occurring! They could even time how long it takes for the balloon to inflate. 

Share your monster heads with us by using the hashtag #TCMatHome on social media!

This science experiment was inspired by Kitchen Pantry Scientist.

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