Do you find it challenging to come up with interesting activities for your male residents? Science experiments are always a big hit at our nursing home.
That’s why it’s great fun to celebrate National Baking Soda Day. There are so many cool experiments you can do with baking soda. This is also a perfect opportunity to invite children to join your residents for a project.
We celebrate National Baking Soda Day on January 30 in honor of the French chemist, Nicholas Leblanc, who produced baking soda for the first time in 1791. (Some sources list National Baking Soda Day as December 30 or January 3. However, with so many other activities going on around the holidays, I prefer to celebrate on January 30. )
Check out my 4 favorite baking soda experiments:
1. Make Raisins Dance
Fill a tall, clear glass about 1/2 full of water. Add one teaspoon of baking soda and stir until it is completely dissolved. Slowly pour vinegar into the glass until it’s about 3/4 full. Add 5-6 raisins to the glass.Watch as the raisins slowly begin to dance!
How does this work? The vinegar and baking soda react to form carbon dioxide. The bubbles cling to the rough surface of the raisins, causing them to rise to the surface. As the bubbles burst into the air, the raisins sink back down.
2. Build A Volcano
I’ll refer you to this site for the full directions on how to create a volcano. You can use either vinegar or ketchup for different effects. If you don’t want to take the time to build a volcano from clay or paper mache, you can also build one using aluminum foil.
3. Blow Up A Balloon
Using a small funnel, place 2 tablespoons baking soda inside a balloon. (It works best if you stretch out the balloon a bit prior to the experiment.) Pour 4 oz white vinegar into an empty plastic water bottle. Carefully apply the balloon over the bottle opening being careful not to let the baking soda spill into the vinegar. Once the balloon is in place, hold up the balloon and let the baking soda fall into the vinegar. Swirl the bottle just a bit, then watch as the balloon mysteriously inflates!
How does this work? The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to produce carbon dioxide gas which inflates the balloon.
4. Write A Message With Invisible Ink
Mix equal parts water and baking soda to form your invisible ink. Using a cotton swab dipped in the ink, write a message in large block letters on a sheet of white paper. Allow the paper to dry completely. Using a craft paint brush, paint over the entire sheet of paper with frozen grape juice concentrate that you’ve thawed. The secret message will be revealed in a different color!
How does this work? The grape juice contains acid that reacts to the baking soda which is a base. This acid-base reaction causes the color change.
Besides science experiments, try out these additional activities for National Baking Soda Day:
1. List The Many Uses Of Baking Soda
Baking soda has been a household staple for many decades. See how many uses your residents can come up with for this versatile product.
Here are a few of our ideas:
- deodorizes & brightens laundry
- clears a slow drain when used with vinegar
- removes odors in the fridge
- reduces the itch of insect bites
- whitens teeth
- deodorizes cat litter box
- helps bread products rise
- relieves indigestion when dissolved in water
- extinguishes grease fires
2. Make Green Slime
Here’s a super easy recipe for the ever-popular green slime. It’s not quite as stretchy as some slime recipes, but since it doesn’t contain any boron-based products, it won’t irritate your skin.
Mix 1/2 cup of Elmer’s glue with 1 tablespoon green dish soap. (Check to be sure the soap contains anionic surfactants.) Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Add one cup of baking soda and stir. Add more baking soda as needed to prevent the slime from sticking to your hands.
3. Bake Soda Bread
This delicious bread uses baking soda and baking powder instead of yeast for leavening. I find it tastes best when eaten the day after the bread is baked. You can serve it with homemade butter from the recipe I shared for National Milk Day.
Old-Fashioned Soda Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg beaten lightly
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients.
Blend egg and buttermilk. Stir into flour mixture. Mix just until moistened.
Stir butter into mixture.
Pour into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Bake for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
Wrap in aluminum foil overnight.
What other ideas do you have for celebrating National Baking Soda Day? Please share in the comment section!
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