How to Blow up a Balloon With Baking Soda and Vinegar – At Home Science Experiments for Kids

It’s easy to make science fun and exciting with this simple science experiment you can do at home.  All you need are a few supplies and a willing helper or two.  This simple experiment will demonstrate the process of a chemical reaction.  Here are the supplies you will need:

Fill a balloon the fun way!

Blow up a balloon the fun way!

  • Ballon
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Empty plastic bottle with a narrow neck
  • Funnel

1.  Pour a little vinegar into a plastic bottle. Choose a plastic water bottle, or another bottle with a narrow neck. Pour 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of vinegar into the bottle, using a funnel if you have one. Use white vinegar, also called distilled vinegar, for the best result.

2.  Use a funnel or straw to put a little baking soda into a limp balloon. You can use any shape and color of balloon. Hold it loosely by the neck, with the open side of the balloon facing towards you. Fit a funnel into the neck if you have one, then pour about two tablespoons (30 mL) baking soda into the balloon, or just fill the balloon about halfway full.

3.  Stretch the neck of the balloon over the top of the bottle. Be careful not to spill the baking soda while you do this. Hold the balloon’s neck with both hands and stretch it over the top of the plastic bottle containing vinegar. Have a friend keep the bottle steady if the table or bottle is wobbly.

4.  Lift the balloon up over the bottle and watch the reaction. The baking soda should fall out of the balloon, through the neck of the bottle, and into the vinegar at the bottom. Here, the two chemicals will fizz and react, turning into other chemicals. One of these is carbon dioxide, a gas, which will rise up and inflate the balloon.  Shake the bottle gently to mix the two ingredients if there’s not much fizzing.

5.  If it doesn’t work, try again with more vinegar or baking soda. If the fizzing has stopped and the balloon still hasn’t inflated after you count to 100, empty out the bottle and try again with more vinegar and baking soda. The stuff left in the bottle has turned into other chemicals, mostly water, so it can’t be used again.  Don’t go overboard. The bottle should never be more than about 1/3 full of vinegar.

HOW IT WORKS – THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE FUN

Depending on the age and interest of your young experimenters, you can use this simple at-home science experiment to introduce any of the following principles:

Understand chemical reactions. Just about everything around you is made up of molecules, or different types of substances. Often, two kinds of molecules react with each other, breaking up and forming different molecules out of the pieces.

Learn about baking soda and vinegar. The reactants, or substances that reacted with each other in the fizzy reaction you saw, are baking soda and vinegar. Unlike many ingredients in your kitchen, both of these are simple chemicals, not complicated mixtures of many chemicals:

  • Baking soda is another word for the molecule sodium bicarbonate.
  • White vinegar is a mixture of acetic acid and water. Only the acetic acid reacts with the baking soda.

Read about the reaction. Baking soda is a type of substance called a base. Vinegar, or acetic acid, is a type of substance called an acid. Bases and acids react with each other, partially breaking apart and forming different substances. This is described as “neutralization” because the end result is neither a base nor an acid. In this case, the new substances are water, a kind of salt, and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, a gas, leaves the liquid mixture and expands throughout the bottle and the balloon, inflating it.

  • Although the definition of acid and base can get complicated, you can compare the differences between the original substances and the “neutralized” result to see there are obvious changes. For instance, vinegar has a strong smell and can be used to dissolve grime and dirt. After being mixed with baking soda, it smells much less strongly and is no more effective at cleaning than water is.

Study the chemical formula. If you’re familiar with some chemistry, or curious about how scientists describe reactions, the formula below describes the reaction between sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 and acetic acid H C2H3O2(aq)NaC2H3O2.[4] Can you figure out how each molecule splits apart and reforms?

  • NaHCO3(aq) + HC2H3O2(aq) → NaC2H3O2(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)
  • The letters in parentheses show the state the chemicals are in during and after the reaction: (g)as, (l)iquid, or (aq)ueous. “Aqueous” means the chemical is dissolved in water.

JM Cremps carries a complete line of fun and exciting at-home science experiments for kids. They carry science kits and science experiments for every age.  The My First Super Science Kit is perfect for the younger scientists.  As your scientist gets older and more knowledgeable, our Chemistry Kits,  Snap Circuits Snaptricity Kits, and our Build Your Own Combustion Engine Kit are a few of our favorites.

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Blow Up a Balloon with Baking Soda and Vinegar. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

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Inspire Your Children with Stories of Valor and Bravery

As parents, we want our children to be brave and noble and to “do the right thing”.  We guide them and prod them and hope our nagging results in their upstanding behavior.  If you are anything like me, then you probably bombard your children with anecdotes and examples of  upstanding behavior in the hopes that something will sink in.   However, the older my boys get, the less impact my stories seem to have.  Fortunately the written word is alive and well, and stories and books of bravery, heroism and valor abound.

Sometimes, a real page turner isn't a fictional story.

Sometimes, a real page turner isn’t a fictional story.

The book shelves in our house are filled with many of the same books that the folks at JM Cremp’s have recognized as inspiring.  Tales of heroism, grace under pressure, and doing the right thing are abundant; and we are blessed to be able to live in an age where they are readily available to us.  Here are some of my favorites:

A Young Patriot – The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy by Jim Murphy – In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself “as warm a patriot as the best of them.” He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy’s humor.

Geronimo, Wolf of the Warpath by Ralph Moody – Geronimo, the legendary Indian who inspired and fought for his people. But who was this man, really? Here is the riveting tale of the last Apache warrior —told by the author of the bestselling Little Britches. Born in 1829 and steeped in the skills and stoicism valued by his tribe, Geronimo was transformed into a feared and respected renegade after witnessing the brutal slaughter of his family. Ultimately he spent more than 25 years eluding the U.S. Army, which sent 5,000 soldiers to hunt him down.

Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Freedom by Rita Mullin – One of the great thinkers of all time, Thomas Jefferson helped shape America in its early years, and his ideas continue to inspire us today. His amazing contributions include not only writing the Declaration of Independence, but his actions as the United States’ third President, as well as his influence as a scientist, inventor, farming pioneer, and educator.

Frederick Douglass, Rising Up from Slavery by Francis E. Ruffin – From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America’s first great civil rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of America’s greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery.

True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.

True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.

Jim Thorpe, An Athlete for the Ages by Ellen C. Lebreqcue – Simply the best: those words perfectly describe the multitalented Native American athlete Jim Thorpe. Not only did he excel at baseball and football, but he also won gold medals in the pentathlon and the decathlon—the only person in Olympic history to do so. This fascinating biography discusses: Thorpe’s many family tragedies—including the childhood death of his twin brother; Why he was temporarily stripped of his gold medals (which were restored posthumously); How he helped establish the sport of major league football; His selection as Greatest Athlete of the 20th century in an Internet poll conducted by ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Kids will enjoy meeting this amazing sports star whose Indian name aptly meant “Bright Path.”

 

 

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Test Your Young Farmer’s Farm Knowledge with Our Farm Facts Quiz

It’s harvest season, and for your junior farmer, that means a lot of miles on their favorite tractor.  For as long as there have been farms, there have been young boys and girls playing farmer and getting dirt on their britches.  The thrill of plowing fields, mowing hay and rounding up cattle is a strong temptation for many a would-be farmer, and a shiny red or green tractor can get make both young and old farmers alike get a little short of breath.

Whether you're a big farm kid or a small farm kid, there's always work to be done on your favorite tractor.

Whether you’re a big farm kid or a small farm kid, there’s always work to be done on your favorite tractor.

JM Cremps has a full selection of the best farm toys, tractors, and farm tools you’ll find outside of a tractor store.  If your young John Deere has a barn full of tractors already and seems to know more about farming than you do, then why not test your little farmer’s knowledge with this fun Farm Facts Quiz.  Download and print your copy of the Farm Facts Quiz here.

  1.  What percentage of all apples grown in the US are grown in the state of Washington?
    1. 40%
    2. 50%
    3. 60%
  2. How many glasses of milk does the average milk cow produce in one year?
    1. 28,000
    2. 46,000
    3. 67,000
  3. How many honeybees does it take to produce a Tablespoon of honey?
    1. 12
    2. 18
    3. 26
  4. How many flowers are collected from to produce a Tablespoon of honey?
    1. 1,000
    2. 2,000
    3. 3,000
  5. Which state produces the most cranberries?
    1. Maine
    2. Minnesota
    3. Wisconsin
  6. How much broccoli does the average American eat each year?
    1. 1 pound
    2. 4 pounds
    3. 7 pounds
  7. How many pounds of tomatoes does the average American eat each year?  (Don’t forget to include ketchup and spaghetti sauce!)
    1. 22 pounds
    2. 44 pounds
    3. 66 pounds
  8. Approximately how many farms are there in the United States?
    1. 1.6 million
    2. 1.9 million
    3. 2.2 million
  9. How much water does the average dairy cow drink in one day?
    1. 15 gallons
    2. 20 gallons
    3. 25 gallons
  10. The average hen lays how many eggs per year?
    1. 243
    2. 299
    3. 325

Get your Farm Facts Quiz Answer Sheet HERE.

*Facts provided by the American Farm Bureau, National Farm-City Council, and the Ontario Farm Council.

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Made in the USA and Proud of it!

Labor Day is upon us. It’s the last hurrah of summer for most families with barb-b-que’s, trips the lake, picnics, and plenty of food. It’s also a wonderful three-day weekend that affords many working folks a rare Monday off. If you have school-age children, that means that they have a rare Monday off of school too, and most families fit as much fun as possible into those coveted three days.

Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors are Made in the USA and make a perfect Labor Day weekend family activity.

Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors are Made in the USA and make a perfect Labor Day weekend family activity.

Although Labor Day is viewed as a fun three-day weekend, it’s also a holiday meant to celebrate the American worker. The first Labor Day was 120 years ago, and many things have changed in the American workforce since that time. Fewer and fewer of the tools we use, the clothes we wear, and the toys we play with are made in the United States any more. For decades now we’ve seen cheaper imported goods take over our store shelves. The good news is that the trend is slowly turning around. In the last 10 years more and more products are once again starting to be made right here at home by your friends and neighbors.

At JM Cremps, we are excited by the prospect of filling our catalog and website with products made right here at home. Each year we are able to bring more and more of these products to our customers, and the quality and variety of these products constantly improves. This trend towards American Made products is something we all can take pride in. Labor Day weekend is a great time to bring some discussion and awareness to this topic as you enjoy your family activities. You can even turn the discussion into a game by creating a Made-in-the-USA scavenger hunt that will keep the kids happy. Who knows, you might find something in your home that was made right there in your own community.

You can find our constantly growing supply of Made-in-the-USA toys, gear, and games on our website in our new Made In The USA category. Some of our best selling gear is made right here at home!

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Get Them Excited for School with This Duct Tape Creation

The end of summer is creeping up and school days are right around the corner.  Back to school can bring conflict to an otherwise happy household – children who do not want to go back to school on one hand, and Mom’s who are slightly relieved at the return to a routine on the other.  It can be a real challenge to get the kids on Mom’s side of the back-to-school equation. One way to do so, besides outright bribery, is to let them customize some of their back to school supplies.  This simple yet fun Duck Tape project is a great way to get them engaged in back-to-school fun.

STEP 1:  Cut the zipper part off your sandwich bag. Leave about ½ inch of bag attached to the zipper part. Do not throw away the rest of the bag.

STEP 1  –  Cut the zipper part off your sandwich bag. Leave about ½ inch of bag attached to the zipper part. Do not throw away the rest of the bag.

STEP 2:  Make 2 pieces of Duck Tape® fabric that measure as wide as your bag and 4 in. tall.

STEP 2  –  Make 2 pieces of Duck Tape® fabric that measure as wide as your bag and 4 in. tall.

STEP 3  -  Using a strip of Duck Tape®, adhere the piece of Duck Tape® fabric you made in step 2 to the zipper from step 1. Repeat for the other side with your second piece of Duck Tape® fabric.

STEP 3 – Using a strip of Duck Tape®, adhere theof Duck Tape® fabric you made in step 2 to the zipper from step 1. Repeat for the other side with your second piece of Duck Tape® fabric.

STEP 5 -  For the I.D. holder cut a rectangle out of the remaining plastic bag that measures 2.5 in. tall by 4 in. wide.

STEP 5 – For the I.D. holder cut a rectangle out of the remaining plastic bag that measures 2.5 in. tall by 4 in. wide.

Fold a single piece of Duck Tape® over each of the open edges of the supply case to close them up. Trim any excess tape.

Step 4 – Fold a single piece of Duck Tape® over each of the open edges of the supply case to close them up. Trim any excess tape.

STEP 6  -  Cut a piece of  Duck Tape® that measures 1 in. tall and 4 in. wide and fold it over the top of the plastic rectangle from step 5. Use 3 more pieces on the sides and bottom to attach it to your case, keeping the top open.

STEP 6 – Cut a piece of Duck Tape® that measures 1 in. tall and 4 in. wide and fold it over the top of the plastic rectangle from step 5. Use 3 more pieces on the sides and bottom to attach it to your case, keeping the top open.

STEP 7  -  If desired, adhere 3 more strips of a different color Duck Tape®, leaving a littly of the previous color Duck Tape® showing. Trim any excess.

STEP 7 – If desired, adhere 3 more strips of a different color Duck Tape®, leaving a littly of the previous color Duck Tape® showing. Trim any excess.

STEP 8  -  Create a tab to add to your supply case by cutting off a 5 in. long piece of Duck Tape®and folding it over on to itself lengthwise.

STEP 8 – Create a tab to add to your supply case by cutting off a 5 in. long piece of Duck Tape® and folding it over on to itself lengthwise.

STEP 9  -  Cut a 1 in. slit in the side of your supply case with a craft knife and insert the tab. Use a small piece of tape on the inside to hold the tab in place.

STEP 9 – Cut a 1 in. slit in the side of your supply case with a craft knife and insert the tab. Use a small piece of tape on the inside to hold the tab in place.

This project is courtesy of Duck Tape® Brand Creations and can be found at http://www.duckbrand.com.  You can find a great selection of colored duct tape, metallic duck tape, camo duck tape, patterned duck tape, and even glow-in-the-dark duck tape at jmcremps.com.  If you want even more fascinating and fun Duct Tape Projects, check out our e-book series called Warfare by Duct Tape.  The easy-to-follow instructions will allow any creative kid (or adult) to create swords, armor, shields, and more!

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Don’t Forget to Relax This Summer – National Relaxation Day is August 15

Let’s face it, summer is crazy busy.  We all look forward to “lazy” summer days, but it seems that those lazy days are few and far between.  As we transition from the summer mind-set to a back-to-school frenzy, it’s important that the whole family takes some time to relax.  We all need to recharge our batteries between these busy seasons!

National Relaxation Day

Next time someone tells you to “Go jump in the lake”, go for it. You may find it to be quite fun and ultimately a great way to unwind.

National Relaxation Day is officially on August 15, and yes, it is a real holiday!  It is also the perfect excuse to grab a book, take a nap in a hammock, or chill by the campfire.   As adults, we all know how to relax, but do we do it enough?  Sometimes we need a little reminder, and National Relaxation Day is a good one.  Incase you forgot just how to do it, here are some of our favorite family-friendly ways to unwind.

  • Read a good book
  • Take a walk
  • Take a nap in the shade (or better yet, a hammock!)
  • Take the family swimming
  • Have a backyard campfire
  • Go to the beach
  • Visit someone you’ve been missing
  • Have a picnic lunch in the park
  • Go fishing
  • Go for a family bike ride
  • Go for ice cream
  • Order pizza for dinner and play a family game
  • Play an instrument

Whatever your choice, just remember to keep it simple.  The more work involved, the less relaxing you’ll do!

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Have Fun After Dark with Our Favorite Night Time Activities

Summer is in full swing.  The days are warm, the evenings are pleasant, and the kiddos probably want to stay out “all night”.  Well an outside, all-nighter may be a bit much, but that doesn’t mean that some after-dark fun can’t be had.  As a matter of fact, night-time games can be fun for the whole family.  Here’s some of our favorites:

Glow in the Dark Book Planets & Supernova

Have some fun in the dark this summer with games, activities, and even glow-in-the-dark books.

  • Flashlight Tag – Catch your opponents with a beam of light from a flashlight.
  • Hide-n-Seek Glowsticks – Parents, hide glowsticks throughout the yard and let the kids find them.
  • Shadow Puppet Theater – Encourage your kids to be creative by putting on a shadow puppet show.  Use a wall or other flat surface to shine a beam of light onto.
  • Star Gazing and Constellation Hunting – Use a star chart or star finder, your own knowledge, or even an app on your phone to find and name various constellations.
  • Have a Backyard Fire – Roast marshmallows or hot dogs, sing songs, and tell stories.  You don’t have to go camping to have an evening campfire!
  • Tell Ghost Stories – Better yet, let the kids tell them to you.
  • Catch Lightening Bugs – See how many beautiful lightening bugs the whole family can catch.
  • Read a Glow in the Dark Book – Yes, there are such things as glow-in-the-dark books, and they sure are fun to read on a warm summer night.

 

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