Colors of Spring with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Bees were buzzing and birds were singing. A few days of sunshine was all it took to get our tulips and daffodils peeking out of the ground. It was all it took to get us outside as well, soaking up all the Vitamin D our bodies could absorb. In honor of the seasonal burst of color we’ll experience soon, I set up a rainbow variation of a classic baking soda and vinegar science experiment for the kids.

Both kids dropping colored vinegar onto baking soda

The kids helped set everything up, scooping piles of baking soda onto trays while I prepared small jars of vinegar, each with several drops of food coloring and two pipettes for each color.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my kids start with mere droplets of vinegar and observing the reaction closely (they are generally known for a “more is more” approach rather than starting small). William commented that the bubbles left behind from the vinegar fizzing in the baking soda created holes that looked like craters.

William dropping vinegar onto baking soda
Bubbly reaction when vinegar hits the baking soda


Sara putting vinegar droplets onto baking soda

But after a while Sara decided that using one dropper at a time just wasn’t enough…

Sara using all the pipettes for our vinegar and baking soda project
If one works well, I wonder how three at a time will do?

Without any interference from me, this beautiful mess appeared on William’s tray:

Colorful textures in vinegar mixed with baking soda

Everything is more fun when you can do it outside. Unable to resist the urge for instant springtime, I bought a Costco-sized flat of colorful primroses.

Beautiful bright coral primrose

I’m so glad I took a few pictures of their colorful heads after we planted them because this is what they looked like the following morning:

Primrose after it was chomped off by deer

I would have suspected our resident banana slugs (we grow ’em big out here) or the little cotton tailed bunny we’ve seen hopping into the salmon berry brambles recently but when I counted that 12 primroses been chomped to smithereens and a few had even been uprooted from their comfy holes, the evidence unmistakably led to deer. Note to self:  just because you don’t see the deer around these days doesn’t mean they aren’t dropping by in search of the next pretty flower to bloom.

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