I’m sure every single one of you has tried mixing baking soda and vinegar at some point in your life, and you’ve probably made some type of craft, or reused in some way, plastic soda bottles.
For this week’s Think Outside the Toy Box, we decided to add the two of those together to make a fun soda bottle speed boat!
You may be wondering how exactly you can combine those 2 things to make a speed boat (at least I hope you are :)) because that is exactly what we plan on sharing with you today!
To get started, you’ll need a few supplies.
A Plastic Soda Bottle (regular 16 oz.)
A Bendable Straw
The first thing you need to do is cut a hole in the bottom of your soda bottle with a pair of scissors. You want this hole to be just big enough for your straw to fit through.
Stick your straw through the hold with the bendable part on the outside of the bottle. Bend this part down just slightly.
Depending on the weight of your particular bottle, you may need something to weigh it down just a little bit so that the straw opening remains underwater when you place it in the bathtub. You could stick a few marbles in the bottle or tape something to the bottom. We taped a few of our leftover glow sticks from last week to the underside and they worked great!
Next, you’ll need to make sure that you completely seal up the opening around the straw. Use your duck tape to make sure that no air (or liquid) can leak through the opening.
Fill your bottle with a mixture of 1 cup water and 3/4 cup vinegar. You’ll want to tip the bottle to the side so that your mixture doesn’t pour straight out of your straw.
**Note** You could use any type of vinegar but for this experiment, so that it could be seen in pictures, we used apple cider vinegar.
Take a single, sheet of toilet paper, pour in 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and then wrap it up like a little burrito.
Stick your baking soda burrito into the mouth of your bottle but DO NOT push it all of the way in. You don’t want it to touch the vinegar mixture just yet.
Once you have it in, put the cap back on your bottle and screw it on tightly.
And now comes the fun part!
Once your cap is screwed on and you’re ready to set your boat free, give it a quick shake to drop the baking soda into the vinegar and place it in a bathtub full of water. Make sure the straw is pointing down and watch it go!
This picture is not the best as it is really hard to get a decent picture of a little bottle boat speeding around your bathtub but you can see the apple cider vinegar shooting out of the straw to propel the boat forward.
They don’t last a super long time either but you can easily rinse them out and start the experiment again.
You could easily use this experiment to discusses the difference between acids and bases with older children and while the little ones may not be old enough to grasp that concept, they still think it is a pretty cool experiment. In fact, I think Nicholas was more enamored with the bubbles of the experiment than the boat itself 🙂
Looking for more fun ideas to try out with the kids this summer? Make sure you check out the rest of our Think Outside the Toy Box projects!
5/26 – Glow Sticks (Glow in the Dark Sensory Slime Bag)
6/2 – Plastic Soda Bottles (Soda Bottle Speed Boat)
6/9 – Paper Grocery Bags (Paper Bag Wind Sock)
6/16 – Kool-Aid (Kool-Aid Painted Beach Towel)
6/23 – Ice Cream Cones (Ice Cream Cone Rocket Races)
6/30 – Pool Noodles (Pool Noodle Play House)
7/7 – Wax Paper (Wax Paper Nature Night Light)
7/14 – Puzzle Pieces (Puzzle Pictures)
7/21 – Paper Cups (Hot Air Balloon Craft for Preschoolers)
7/28 – Plastic Milk Jugs (Recycled Milk Jug Sun Catchers)