The mystery color experiment

All preschoolers love to see how baking soda and vinegar react.  We’ve added a new twist with our mystery color experiment…

The mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

We’ve been solving mysteries in preschool and this mystery color experiment brought some science and excitement into our day!  For this experiment you will need liquid food coloring, baking soda, vinegar, cups, and spoons.  Begin by adding just  a few small drops of food coloring to your spoons.  Then gently cover the food coloring with a spoonful of baking soda so that the color is completely hidden.  This is where the mystery comes in.  The children won’t have any idea what color is hiding under the baking soda.  Your filled spoons should look something like this…

mThe mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

We filled enough spoons with food coloring and baking soda so that each child could recreate this experiment three times.   Next, you will need to add fill your cups about half full of vinegar…

The mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

Notice that we also added larger trays to help contain the overflow when our baking soda and vinegar react, because it will surely bubble over.  Before beginning the experiment, we asked the children to guess what they think might happen when they stir their spoonful of baking soda into the vinegar.  At this time, you can choose to tell them that there is a color hidden under the vinegar and ask them to guess what color it may be or you could let this be another element of surprise.  We opted to let them guess what color they think might be under their spoon.  Then we invited them to stir their baking soda into their vinegar…

The mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

The solution immediately bubbled over.  The color will magically appear after just a few short seconds of stirring.  You can let the children continue to use the vinegar that they have for their remaining spoons, but the effect will not be quite as dramatic.  It makes for a unique way to explore the blending of colors.  Some of our children were too quick for us and went ahead and mixed in their 2nd spoonful.  By their 3rd spoonful, we were trying to get around to provide fresh cups of vinegar to each child…

The mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

After using up their remaining spoons, we brought out the pipettes (droppers) and filled each child’s smaller tray with baking soda for a second round of experiments.  We provided each child with a fresh cup of vinegar and then allowed them to choose a color.  We dropped a few drops of food coloring in their vinegar and then let the children explore this process…

The mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

While our little scientists were busy creating chemical reactions, we were asking them questions to help compare and contrast the two experiments.  For example, we asked the children which experiment made bigger bubbles, the first or the second.  Asking questions helps to turn this playful activity into more of a process of discovery.  The children are no longer just playing in the baking soda and vinegar.  They are creating hypotheses.  They are questioning and predicting the outcomes.  They truly are becoming little scientists…

The mystery color experiment by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grown on:

Fizzy Footprints by Toddler Approved

Making bubble prints in preschool by Teach Preschool 

Erupting volcanoes in preschool by Teach Preschool

Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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