Kids love this dancing rice experiment and I love that it uses items I already have at home!
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My kids love doing anything hands on, including simple science experiments like color explosions, which use baking soda and vinegar. This dancing rice experiment takes basically no prep time at all and using ingredients you already have at home:
First, grab a clear container, such as a glass, and fill it with water so there is about an inch or so of space left at the top. Add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda and stir it around.
Sprinkle some rice into the water. I’ve found that minute/instant rice works well since it’s not as dense.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water. After a short period of time, you should start seeing the rice “dance” up to the top and the sink back down. This is due to the carbon dioxide bubbles sticking to the rice and the gas being released once it reaches the top.
You can also add a drop or two of food coloring into the glass for another aspect of visual fun.
Once the rice stops dancing, try adding a little more baking soda and vinegar to the water to see if you can get the reaction going again.
Tips for a successful experiment:
- The larger the container is that you use, the more baking soda and vinegar you’ll have to use to get the reaction going. So if you find that nothing is happening, try adding a little more of each.
- Try using different items and see if you can get them to “dance”, such as small pieces of spaghetti or raisins.
- For older kids, it would be fun to turn it into a real “experiment” by teaching them about why the rice “dances”, having them make notes about how much baking soda and vinegar it takes to get different items to dance, trying different kinds of rice to see if they dance differently, etc.
- Let your kids do as much of the activity as possible. They will love being the ones to create the reaction!
What other baking soda and vinegar activities have you tried?