Saturday, 29 September 2012

Homemade Toy: Baking Soda & Vinegar

This is an incredibly simple activity and great fun for kids of all ages. This was a quick, last-minute set up so it's very basic. Felix was tired and I needed to get dinner organised. He and Jonny did this one together. I took a few photos and left them to it.

I put a small box of baking soda in the bottom of an oven dish, you can use any type of dish you like and just use enough baking soda to line the bottom, it doesn't have to be too thick. I put a little vinegar in two ramekins; to one I added red food colouring, to the other I added blue food colouring.

We used a medicine syringe since that's what we had on hand. I've since bought a dropper so we can mix things up a little. Jonny showed Felix how to hold the syringe, making sure the tip was in the liquid, pull up the stopper to suck the liquid into the syringe and then squirt it onto the baking soda.

Felix was fascinated with figuring out how to use the syringe. It took a few goes to get the hang of sucking up the vinegar but he got the hang of squirting it out straight away (of course!). He enjoyed watching the vinegar squirt out and learned to aim at a dry area of the baking soda. Jonny showed him how to put the tip of the syringe into the baking soda and then squirt so it would bubble from underneath.

They talked about colours; white baking soda, red vinegar and blue vinegar. This naturally led to talking about purple once Felix used up the red and started adding blue. They talked about bubbles and fizzing, sucking and squirting.

But they also sat there in silence. Felix lost in concentration on his work and Jonny watching him and being there to support his learning, offering explanations or help when needed. I love seeing my boys like this.

Simple activities, like this one, are great for the evenings. It's an opportunity for Felix and Jonny to spend some quality time together after work and on those days when Felix is fractious, it gives him something with purpose to concentrate on, helping him work though whatever it is that's upsetting him.

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