Tuesday 12 March 2013


Montessori Activity: Exploring Gas with Balloon, Baking Soda & Vinegar

Age: From 4 years old

Duration: 5-10 minutes

1. 1 plastic bottle
2. Vinegar
3. Baking soda
4. 1 funnel
5. 1 balloon

1. Fill plastic bottle approx. 1/3 full with vinegar.

2. Fill balloon approx. 1/2 full with baking soda using a funnel.

3. Cover the top of the bottle with balloon, making sure that you don't let the baking soda spill into the bottle until you are ready to blow up the balloon.

4. When you are ready, lift your balloon and let the baking soda drop into the vinegar.

5. Watch the mixture fizzes, bubbles and your balloon expand in size :-)

6. Talk about how baking soda and vinegar produce a gas call carbon dioxide that fills the balloon.

Additional Information:
J is now 4 years old and I think he is ready for some Science experiments. I got to know this wonderful activity from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas blog. For a change from our usual Maths time or doing nothing, I tried this with J (4Y0M7D) tried this today. After fumbing a little (I added water into the bottle instead of vinegar absent-mindedly, and nothing happened. We used the opportunity to talk about the difference between water and vinegar that produces the effect.) And J's reaction? He loved it enough to want to repeat the activity with another balloon, but we ran out of vinegar :-(

After a week of sickness, I am exhausted. I am glad I have pulled myself together today and continued some educational activities. I have been feeling rather lousy about myself... for not doing so well as a mom, and for feeling torn between my full-time work and motherhood - so many things that need my attention - Montessori, Maths, English, Chinese, piano class, life skills, Christian education, etc. etc. I find myself constantly busy, even as J is getting older - well, acutally even busier than before. I wish wish wish I could be a full-time professional mom - which is what I really want.

I do wish I am the type of mom who can just let my child "play with dirt and grow" as a friend described herself, without worrying that I am doing too little. I do wish I do not have the "Tiger Mom" tendency, but I couldn't. I tried to do nothing, but it didn't feel good, and thus it doesn't work for me. Perhaps I am too harsh on myself, but I am struggling hard with some tough balancing act, and wondering how to find the right balance. It is important not just to do things right, but to do the right things, and for now, I am a little confused. I am still praying about the right things I should do.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about this activity.


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