Monday, May 4, 2009

Dancing Raisins Experiment

We did a fun and easy science experiment that I thought I'd share.  It was posted on a loop and we decided to try it out.  I had planned to do it with my younger boys and put the ingredients for the experiment in their boxes.  This was the same day I was doing science labs with my oldest two and the boys loved having their own "lab" too. 

It was such a hit, that Rebecca joined in too. 

Here is what you need for this experiment.

*Mason jar (I used the large size)



*Baking soda


You will fill the jar about 2/3 full of water. 

Next add in several "glugs" of vinegar. 

Next add a few raisins.

Finally,  comes several spoonfuls of baking soda.  Add one at a time in case your experiments starts bubbling over.  We had that happen to us. 

Without stirring, wait and watch.  (My boys kept wanting to add in a couple more raisins.)  The raisins will start to dance!

What you will see is the raisins starting to rise to the top of the jar, then falling back down.  Ours had a slow start and then picked up as time went on.  The raisins continued to dance for quite awhile too!  My children loved watching this.  It made for great entertainment while we were eating lunch.  LOL

The explanation behind the experiment is that the vinegar is an acid and the baking soda a base.  When the two combine they form carbon dioxide.  This attachs to the skin of the raisins in the form of bubbles.  When enough bubbles are on the raisin, it will rise to the top of the jar.  There the bubbles pop, and the raisins sink again. 

This was a good reminder to me that I need to do this type of experiment more often.  I'm hoping I can plan at least one per week.  My children loved it!  I thought it was fun to watch too.

Give it a try - I bet you'll like it too!





  1. Simple, easy, fun! Vinegar, raisins, and baking soda are going in the box - can't wait to see the look on their face as they wonder what I am up to. :-) I needed a "fun" idea for the box, thank you!

    Michelle (@ Delightful Learning)

  2. What a fun idea. One of my boys' favorites is when I give them three jars with colored water and set them free creating a color wheel of glass jars.

  3. What fun! I will have to try that with my little ones.



  4. Oh I saw this too and want to do as well-but need raisins...looks really cool! Off to the store for those raisins tomorrow. Thanks for posting this.

  5. Hope y'all have fun with the experiment!

    Sheri - that sounds like a lot of fun too! My boys are loving our experiments and this would probably be a blast! Thank you!

  6. lol now thats so cool.

  7. Hi again Leslie,

    I have a question about associating these experiments with you actually put all the stuff for the experiment inside each child's workbox? How then do you make sure that they all get to that box at the same time? Or is this a "center" activity? Do you just pull them all together for activities like this one regardless of which individual workbox they may each be working on? I'm guessing the latter, but thought I'd better ask. :-)

    Blessings on your day!

    Pam in SE MI

  8. Hi Pam,

    Great question. I've tended to put them in their boxes. For this particular experiment I included a jar and one of the ingredients in each boy's box. Whenever the first boy got to the box, the rest would stop to do the experiment. Nobody minds stopping do to an experiment!

    We have typically moved into the kitchen for experiments so the children could love other box work there to be picked back up again once the experiment was complete.

    I think it would work for a center too, though I’ve mostly just included it in their boxes.




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