Magic Potion: For Science!


What an adventure of a day. After Running, tumbling, chasing, jumping and generally verbing their way into the afternoon, the band of youngsters hanging at our house today was dead tired. What better way to settle down before dinner than by creating small scale chemical explosions in the dining room.

Magic Potions are an easy introductory science example for the wee ones. Simply putting vinegar in jars, food coloring underneath baking soda atop a spoon and letting the kids go crazy with stirring and bubbling the mix makes for a neat activity and  a quick science fix. 

Visiting with our dear friends today was quite nice. Thankfully they know us well enough now that when a spoon full of white powder suddenly shows up in the kitchen, they don’t have too many questions. They also agreed to let me snap photos of their kids for the blog. So thanks guys!

Magic Potions are easy to set up. My wife built them as I threw together dinner and the friends watched the kids. I had the easiest job of the night. Thanks again guys!  

Step one: Food coloring on spoons.  


A few drops of color in the center of the spoon is enough. I’m sure there are guides online for how many drops to get a specific color, but….don’t. It’s kid science we’re working with here. 

Step Two: Powder Up That Spoon. 


It’s not what it looks like! Unless it looks like a scoop of baking soda set atop a glob of food coloring on a spoon. If it looks like that, then yes it is exactly what it looks like. And there’s are two!

Step Three: Fill jars with white vinegar.  

Glub glub glub. It smells bad and makes funny noises. It’s a line for another talk entirely, but this step is pretty crucial. No set amount is needed. I’m not quite sure the correlation between amount of vinegar and amount of baking soda. If there is more vinegar does that make the reaction last longer? Does less vinegar make the reaction louder? Test it out. It is science for goodness sake, run an experiment. 


Make sure the audience is captivated too.

Step four: Science!


Add a spoon to a jar and stir. Boom! Fizzle! Kapow!  All these sounds and more will be heard. 

Step five:  Keep it going!



The kids were very funny about the process at first. They watched each other to see if it was being done correctly. I wanted to explain there was no right or wrong in science, but before I could….



It was pretty much over. They realized on their own the process was there’s to control. With parents looking on, they saw colors form underneath the foam of the reaction and went crazy. My wife set up another round for the youngest two and they all spent time combining the colored liquids to make new colors. They all wound up a Coca Cola brown. 

It was fun to see them all working alongside each other. They went through the whole lab set up too. Gathered tools, formed a hypothesis on what the Magic Potion would do, put on their safety equipment. We moved out of the kitchen to avoid the scorching heat radiating from the oven. Hard Science on the hardwood worked out, I imagine vinegar cleans our old scratches floors very well. 

At the end of the day we had a group of kids pretty excited for all of fifteen minutes to do  something science related. I don’t know if they remembered it after dinner, but it is a start. Nothing better than hanging out with friends and experimenting with chemicals…or something.



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