Next time kids say they don’t like vegetables, try out an experiment that will bring out the fun side of our leafy friends. Mom and Kiddo of the blog What Did We Do All Day? shows us how to play with color in this demonstration that uses an acid, a base, and a vegetable. She suggests keeping some of the solution in the fridge for a rainy day and allowing kids to experiment on their own.
You will need:
- purple or red cabbage
- small and large glass jars
- baking soda
- measuring cup
- 1/4 teaspoon
What to do?
- Chop up a cabbage and simmer on the stove for 20 minutes to make a cool purple liquid (kids, please let a grown-up do this)
- After the purple brew has cooled, collect some small and large jars. Place about 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp water in one jar, a small amount of vinegar in another and about 1/4 cup purple brew in a third.
- Put some of the brew in a measuring cup and pour 1/4 tsp of the brew in each of the first small jars. What happens when you mix the purple brew with the different solutions?
- In the jar filled with a 1/4 cup of purple brew, pour about 1/4 cup vinegar. What happens?
- Next, add 1/4 tsp baking soda to the same solution. What is your observation?
How does it work?
Red cabbage contains a chemical called flavin and flavin has the ability to change color based on the pH level of certain liquids. Nuetral solutions, (like water) are purple. Acid solutions, like the vinegar, turn will turn flavin red. Basic solutions, like the baking soda water, become blue.
You can check out Mom and Kiddo’s full post of this experiment HERE. Let us know what your results are when you make your own purple brew. What would happen if you tried different vegetables? What would happen if you used cream of tartar, lemon juice, salt, lemonade, or other materials from your kitchen pantry? Can you make your own litmus paper and test the pH of the solution?
What would the science world be without vinegar & baking soda? It would be a little less exciting at the Community School of West Seattle. Michelle Taylor teaches a K-2 program there and she decided to add a little science excitement to her classroom. With a little vinegar, baking soda, a bottle and a balloon, her students were able to to observe chemistry at work inflating the balloon. (Instructions for this experiment below)
“You could hear the screams all through the school – it was so exciting.”