Create a Sandwich Bag Explosion! Activity

3.3 based on 99 ratings
Updated on Apr 30, 2014

Chemistry is a blast with this backyard bomb...made from a simple sandwich bag. All you need are a few ingredients from the pantry to create a satisfying, and safe, explosion.

Kids get an early introduction to the wonders of chemistry, by watching what happens when vinegar and baking soda react. The carbon dioxide created by mixing these everyday ingredients fills the bag until there's no more room for expansion, then explodes with a dramatic boom.

What You Need:

  • Paper towels
  • Sandwich bag that seals completely and has no holes
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Scissors
  • Clear outdoor area

What You Do:

  1. Draw a square measuring about 5–6 inches on each side onto a paper towel. Ask your child to cut it out.
  2. Measure out the baking soda and help him scoop it into the middle of the towel. Fold the towel inwards on four sides, so you have a little packet of powder. It should look like a sachet, with the powder contained inside.
  3. Mix the vinegar and warm water together, then pour it into the sandwich bag.
  4. Give your child the paper towel packet you've just made and tell him to quickly but carefully drop it into the bag, then immediately seal it closed.
  5. Standing in your outdoor area, let your child shake the bag a bit. Then put it on the ground and stand clear!

Get ready to see chemistry in motion! As the vinegar and baking soda combine, they'll produce carbon dioxide, inflating the bag until it's bursting at the seams. When the bag can no longer contain what's inside, it will burst, creating a very loud pop. Be sure to keep extra materials on hand—they'll likely want to do this one again. Bombs away!