Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Baking soda

Pesty pox- Zac does a great zombie impression!
The last few weeks have been poxy! Danny had it mildly and entirely over the half term break- perfect. Zac's just had it REALLY badly and missed two weeks of school- not perfect at all! Since chicken pox has been going around the village, lots of people had good advice about how to ease the itching, mostly involving what to put in the bath. So Zac has been thoroughly steeped in porridge oat goo, cider vinegar potion, and baking soda bubbles. Both boys enjoyed the oats best. It meant they had a pair of my tights with oats in each foot dangling from the taps. The oats went all squishy- and they loved to squeeze them like an 80s exec's stress ball, plus the tights could be used for bath toys to climb up, slide down, balance across etc. However I had most faith in the baking soda because since having children I have discovered it has many magical uses!
Erupting the papier mache volcano.
I have already mentioned volcanoes in a couple of my posts. We have an indoor one, that we made from papier mache, and Zac has created outdoor ones from a pile of mud on several occasions. Both can be erupted by putting some red food colouring in a cupful of vinegar, and then adding a heaped teaspoonful of baking soda.
And now for the mud version.

The lava rises up in the crater and oozes down the sides in quite a realistic way, although I'm always a bit sorry there's not more of an explosion! (Update- just found a new recipe- ketchup, washing up liquid, a bit of water and then baking soda- it works loads better than vinegar!)

My balloon "pinged up!

We have used this fizzy reaction in other experiments too. One that we saw on tele which is quite funny, and a little bit rude if your mind works that way, is to put the baking soda and vinegar combo in a plastic drinks bottle and put a balloon over the top. The gas produced by the reaction in the bottle inflates the balloon and makes it stand up.

Waiting for blast off.
Father Christmas also gave the boys a mini rocket that uses soda power to launch it into the air, and some tiny plastic submarines which dive and surface in a glass of water when you put baking soda inside.

Baking with the semi-naked chef!
Of course, we also use baking soda in baking! Danny's favourite recipe is one for banana cake, which is great because it uses up the over-ripe bananas we often have about the house! The first time I really let him do all the measuring himself he insisted on adding one massively heaped teaspoon of baking soda, instead of the level teaspoon prescribed by the recipe, and it rose beautifully and was a much better texture than usual, so now I bow to his methods!

I know that baking soda also has magical cleaning properties, but since cleaning is absolutely not my area of expertise, you'll have to go elsewhere for those tips. However, here are a few links to other great soda ideas that I'm looking forward to letting the boys try:

And here's someone who made their own baking soda rocket:

I just linked this post to a great site with more kitchen experiments to try:
Inspiration Laboratories


  1. oooh the banana cake sounds good! Cleaning is not really my thing either, but I might try the baking soda.

    Thanks for linking to Challenge and Discover.

    1. Thank you! Banana cake is delicious! Great to link up. x