For Kids

Science Experiment: Chemical Reaction - Exploding Ziploc


srpziplocpartsIn today's experiment you will be able to watch a chemical reaction. In this experiment vinegar (a substance) and baking soda (a substance) will mix together. When mixed together the molecules of the two substances will re-arrange, or change, to make new substances.

Vinegar has acetic acid in it. The chemical name for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. When you mix the two together you get sodium acetate and water. You also get carbon dioxide, which is a gas. The bag puffs up because carbon dioxide is a gas and takes up a lot of space. Eventually the bag isn't big enough to hold all that carbon dioxide gas so it explodes!


You Will Need:

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Snack size ziploc bag
  • Quart size ziploc bag

Measure one tablespoon of baking soda into a quart size ziploc bag. Measure 1/2 cup of vinegar into the snack size ziploc bag and zip the bag closed. Put the snack size ziploc bag full of vinegar into srpziplocdogthe quart size ziploc bag with the baking soda in it. Get as much air as possible out of the quart size bag before zipping it closed. Go outside! Stand in the middle of your yard. Grip the snack size ziploc bag from the outside of the quart size bag and pull it open. As soon as the vinegar starts to mix with the baking soda drop the bags into the grass and watch what happens.

If your bag inflates, but does not explode, try increasing the amount of baking soda and vinegar. If you do this, be sure to drop the bag quickly and take several steps away after you mix the two substances together - when the bag explodes it splashes vinegar everywhere...which does not feel good in your eyes. See the dog's nose and eyes? Too close! goes without saying to do this OUTSIDE. To investigate chemical reactions further – try some more experiments at home!

Websites, Activities, Printables:

Science in Context
Science in Context: Chemical Reactions is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. The Science in Context database will show you articles, images and videos to help you learn about chemical reactions.


You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.


Use your indyPL Library Card to check out chemistry books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or text a librarian at 317 333-6877.

Chemistry for Kids: Projects to Makes Things Sizzle, Pop, and Explode!

Chemistry is nature's magic. With it you can learn to do amazing things, like make erupting volcanoes and and fizzy exploding ziplocs. These books will show you how to do these things and also explain the science behind why these things are happening. You can explore chemical reactions by experimenting with things you find around the house in your kitchen, bathroom or garage. #indyplkids IndyPL_CarrieW


An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe

Gray, Theodore W.

An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe. Amazing photographs show how molecules interact - chemical reactions. The chapter called "The Boring Chapter," is funny - it explains the reactions of paint drying and grass growing!

Exploring Kitchen Science

30+ Edible Experiments & Kitchen Activities

30+ Edible kitchen experiments from the Exploratorium. I want to make food glow in the dark!

Science Experiments That Explode and Implode

Fun Projects for Curious Kids

Wheeler-Toppen, Jodi

Step-by-step directions for science projects using things you can find around the house that have dramatic results.