The self-inflating balloon science experiment is a true science experiment that would be perfect for science fairs or a science lesson. What kids learn in this lesson is that different chemical reactions and gasses can be used to inflate balloons. The real question is, will any of the balloons be able to float?
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Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment
What you’ll need for the self-inflating balloon experiment:
- Balloons (1 for each type of inflation material)
- Plastic squeeze bottles (1 for each type of inflation material)
- Baking soda
- Hot water
- Measuring cup
One thing to note before starting is that the yeast balloon takes some time to inflate. You’ll want to get that started before you dive into the other ones so you can compare them at the same time. We waited about 10 minutes after starting our yeast mixture to give it time to inflate before we did the other experiments.
What mixture will inflate a balloon the best?
The kids thought that the baking soda and vinegar would make the biggest balloon because they’ve made baking soda paint bombs before, and know the power of this reaction!
How to do the Self-Inflating Balloon Experiment:
To keep this scientific, add the same amount of inflation material into each bottle. We added about 3 tablespoons of hot water into one bottle, vinegar into another, and warm water into the third (for the yeast). We added 1 teaspoon of sugar along with half a yeast packet to the yeast bottle.
On top of each bottle, tape a balloon tightly around the spout so they can’t pop off.
Screw the lid on tightly to the yeast bottle and the hot water bottle.
Fill the cap with baking soda and quickly screw the lid onto the last bottle.
The baking soda and vinegar bottle will inflate the most and the fastest. In fact, ours nearly popped the lid off the bottle and made a huge mess, but we caught it in time. The yeast is a slow-inflating balloon, but it lasted the longest.
The hot water was barely enough air to help the balloon stand up straight.
What Kids Learn in the Self-Inflating Balloon Experiment
This experiment is a classic science experiment with a hypothesis, experiment, and results record. This experiment is simple, yet helps kids understand how the scientific process works. Additionally, who wouldn’t want to learn what the best replacement for helium in balloons is? Of course, some kids might be disappointed to learn that these balloons won’t actually float in the air, but that’s another lesson too! These balloons can’t float because none of the fillings are lighter than air!
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1 thought on “Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment”
This is much easier to do if you use 12-20 oz soda bottles and regular balloons instead of the water balloons pictured here.