Slowly but surely, our family has been using more environmentally friendly cleaning products, and the most used cleaning products in our home are baking soda and lemon juice. If you soak a counter stain in lemon juice and baking soda, it often helps remove it. Rubbing alcohol, also, works wonders as a counter stain remover, but the smell is overwhelming, so I use it after trying baking soda and lemon juice.
When mixed together, baking soda and lemon juice produce a chemical reaction resulting in lots of fizzy bubbles. I knew Miss E would be enthralled when observing this little miracle of science while helping me clean off counter stains.
We spread baking soda over the counter. I gave her a small bowl of lemon juice with a teaspoon, and instructed her to pour spoonfuls of the lemon juice over the baking soda. After the first eruption of bubbles, she was hooked and spent over thirty minutes creating chemical reactions. She carefully observed each reaction waiting for the bubbles to die down. She showed me how if she poured the lemon juice on a portion of the counter with no baking soda, that there were no bubbles. This showed me she understood that lemon juice mixed with baking soda caused the creation of bubbles.
After she was done experimenting, she helped wipe down the counter and enjoyed getting her fingers messy in the goopy mess.
By allowing children to play and experiment with these basic kitchen ingredients, they are building on the scientific concept of chemical reactions. They can witness that two ordinary things created something extraordinary. This activity builds on children’s observation skills which is an important skill in science.