If your kids enjoy painting and get excited about the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, then they’ll love painting with baking soda and vinegar.

Baking Soda Painting - a fun mix of science and process art ideal for preschoolers and toddlers to experiment and explore with.

The Supplies for Baking Soda Painting

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The Setup

  1. Laminate a piece of paper using contact paper. (Alternatively, you could use a large plastic lid or similar surface.)
  2. In one container, add a tablespoon of baking soda.
  3. Add a little bit of water.
  4. Add some paint and mix.
  5. Add baking soda, water, and/or paint until the consistency is what you like.
  6. In a second container, mix together paint and vinegar. (My paint did not mix well with the vinegar. I thinking adding a bit of water to the paint before adding the vinegar would help.)
  7. Set the containers of baking soda paint and vinegar paint on top of or next to the laminated paper along side a paint brush.
materials set up for painting with baking soda and vinegarm blue baking soda and red vinegar in plastic cups on a yellow piece of paper with a circle drawn and some paint brushes

I drew a circle onto the laminated paper for an added play prompt. What will your child do with the circle? Will he ignore it? Will she paint within the circle? Will he make the circle part of his creation? My son chose to paint over the circle. Even though I drew it with permanent marker, it washed away.

The Play

My son (age 2.5) was very excited to see this activity setup. I thought he would immediately grab the paintbrushes and start painting. Nope. He brought his own tools to the party – a spoon, half a plastic egg, a star shape, and a few stacking cups. He spooned the liquids into different containers.

toddler mixing the liquid together in a plastic container

Aiden dumped the liquids onto the laminated paper. He eventually picked up the paintbrushes and moved the liquids around.

Make your own Finger Paints perfect for toddlers that put everything in their mouths.

He poured the red liquid into the blue and was excited by the reaction. He poured the blue liquid into the red and was equally excited. Color mixing was an added bonus – blue mixed with red makes purple!

toddler watching the reaction between bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in a cup on the table

He continued playing and painting for quite some time. And things got a little messy. I was prepared. That plastic drop cloth not only covers the table; it is also under the chair.

painting finished with baking soda / bicarb and vinegar and food colouring to play with colours and experiments

When he was finished, he had a cool piece of art. How to save it since it was on laminated paper? I made a print! Just place another piece of paper on top of the colored liquid masterpiece. Pull away and you have a print of the original art.

finished painting of bicarb and vinegar on yellow paper

Thanks for letting me share our fun with you!

Would you like to see more ideas for toddlers/preschoolers from me? Here are a few of my favorites.

What Can you Learn from a Cardboard Tube?

How to Make a Rainbow

Are You My Mother? Storytelling Using Props

Author
Trisha Stanley

Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy and mom to Aiden, Lily, and Elon.

She’s the creator of Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play.

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