Here’s a secret formula proving kids play with anything: Play with Baking Soda and Vinegar = Explosions of Fun. Sometimes called how to make volcanos. Baking soda and vinegar cannot be considered toys but they combine for some amazing play. They are inexpensive and affordable, but with all these ideas, you might need the extra economy size. Kids love to do this over and over.
Play clothes and newspaper are a good idea to protect tables. We used a big pan, but it wasn’t quite enough. Using plastic wine goblets, a bowl of vinegar, another of baking soda and some big spoons, Little Sister scooped some baking soda into a glass. Then she added a spoon of vinegar. Right away, bubbles started to form and grow in the glass. She wanted the fizz to go right over the top and spill out so added some more vinegar until they did. After a few times, there were puddles of soda and vinegar on the cookie sheet. The sensory play of spreading the puddles all around and feeling the solution with her hands and fingers appealed to her as much as the fizzing. Perhaps even more.
Another time, we first made a thick paste of baking soda and water. This was poured into ice cube trays and popped into the freezer overnight. The next day, both Big Sister and Little Sister each used an eye dropper to squirt vinegar onto one soda cube at a time. Again, there was lots of fizzing and bubbling all over a tray.
This activity can be done any time of the year and with children of various ages. It’s also good in emergencies, when you need little ones to play quietly in a small space. Too bad it’s not offered on airplanes, but it’s great to do in kitchens when we want to be able to watch kids while we’re busy. Try it with colored solutions of vinegar for a rainbow in a bowl. Use different kinds of squirters. Growing A Jeweled Rose has compiled over 50 ideas for play with baking soda and vinegar.
For childhood there is another formula. Play = Absolutely Necessary, Toys = Optional. Do you agree?