Last week we made baking soda and vinegar volcanoes to go along with our volcano study with Classical Conversations. And since there was much begging and pleading to do more “fizzy experiments,” I cobbled together this sensory art project (the idea is from The Pinterested Parent) as a sort of last-minute Saturday morning activity and the boys loved it!
And anytime I can turn a hands-on art activity into holiday-themed decor – I’m in.
First, we traced hearts onto watercolor paper using a cookie cutter and cut them out. Of course, you can freehand this, but I’m horrible at drawing hearts. It’s a curse, but I’ve accepted it.
I would definitely recommend using watercolor paper, since the end result is VERY wet. I can’t see regular old paper (or even cardstock) holding up well. We use this paper from Amazon and it holds up fabulously (and is the best deal out there, in my opinion).
Place all your hearts on a cookie sheet. You can cover it with aluminum foil or parchment paper like I did to make cleanup easier. Or you can live on the wild side and put ’em right on the cookie sheet.
Next, get out a muffin tin and add a couple of drops of food coloring into each section and fill them halfway with vinegar, mixing well. Sort of like coloring eggs.
Then, get out your eyedropper. Or, in my case, rummage through your medicine cabinet and find an eyedropper-like syringe. What can I say? I’m resourceful like that.
Now’s where the fun begins. Give your little people a cup or small dish with a few scoop fulls of baking soda and a spoon. They are going to carefully pour a spoon full or two of baking soda onto each heart and spread it around with the back of the spoon until the hearts are fully covered. It doesn’t matter if there are small clumps or if it’s not even – it’ll just make it more fun later. I let the boys take turns choosing their hearts and spreading the soda on.
Okay! We’re finally to the action-packed part. Using the eyedropper, squeeze out a few drops of the colored vinegar onto each heart and watch as it fills with fizzy color.
You can talk about the acid-base chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar, or just ooh and aah over it while your kids make loud volcanic eruption noises – your choice! 😉
Right after you’re finished, carefully remove the hearts from the cookie sheet and place them on a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil to dry. You can tilt them to allow some of the baking soda to drip off, but this will change how the colors look.
The actual color after they dry is lighter and more muted than it looks during the reaction. We found that rubbing off some of the dried baking soda helped the colors show a little more vibrantly.
I’m sure there are many ways you can showcase these colorful hearts, but we turned them into a mobile. (Since I turn everything into a mobile. I can’t help it.)
Go get a stick from the backyard (or, better yet, send your kiddos out to fetch one), thread a needle with some string and have the kids help you string them up.
Just don’t leave the stick in reach of your dog, who’s favorite thing just happens to be sticks. Oopsie.
Add some smaller white hearts for visual interest, hang it all up and viola! It’s your new Valentine’s Day decoration.
I wonder how many more of these hearts I can hang around the house? It’s a nice departure from the transformers and legos decorating the floors.
Did you try this with your family? Let me know how it turned out!
**I’m an affiliate of Amazon, which means every purchase from product links helps keep this website going. I only write about things I’m truly passionate about, and products I actually recommend and use for our family.**