Looking to bring a little wintery coolness to bath time? Grab your little chemists and whip up a batch of these minty fizzing snowballs!
Follow the simple step-by-step below and then hop over and grab more STEM challenges your students will actually ASK to repeat with our Epic STEM Challenge Bundle!
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Getting the Fizzing Snowballs Ready
With a quick trip to the grocery store, we got mixin’. The recipe makes 5 to 6 tennis ball-sized bath fizzies.
- 1 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup Epsom salt or cane sugar
- 1/2 cup citric acid (available in natural food stores or online for canning)
- Peppermint essential oils
- 2-3 tablespoons unscented bubble bath
- 1/4 clear or silver glitter (optional)
- Large bowl
- Measuring cups
- Mixing spoon
Making the Fizzing Snowballs
Once I gathered all the supplies, I called my kids over to help. I had my kids take turns measuring out the baking soda, cornstarch, Epsom salt, citric acid, and glitter. I intentionally gave them a 1/4 cup measuring cup so they could practice adding fractions.
This fizzing snowballs recipe was pretty forgiving, so it makes a great hands-on activity for younger kiddos as well.
Once all the dry ingredients were added, we added a few drops of peppermint essential oil. My kids loved the wintery scent! Added bonus? Peppermint can help clear up congestion from winter colds.
After giving the concoction a good stir, we were ready to add the bubble bath. We did this carefully and little at a time so that the mixture wouldn’t become too wet.
We started with 1 tablespoon and ended up using a little over 2 tablespoons to get our mixture to clump when squeezed.
Note: The bubble bath liquid contains water and would start to fizz once added to the dry ingredients. If you add too much, not only will your mixture be too sticky, but the citric acid and baking soda will react with the water in the bubble bath and your fizzing snowballs will lose their fizz.
If you find you added a little too much bubble bath, simply add cornstarch, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture clumps but isn’t wet or sticky.
When our mixture clumped, we each grabbed a big scoop and squeezed it into a ball shape with our hands. You can also do this with a scoop if you prefer.
Once formed, we let the fizzing snowballs harden for several hours.
A little while later, my kiddos couldn’t wait any longer and came running for bath time.
I let them play with their snowball as the tub was filling. After the snowball fizzed and dissolved, the running water made some pretty sparkly bubbles that had my kiddos begging to use the rest of the fizzing snowballs batch!
The Science Behind It
When you drop the fizzy snowball into the tub, the water sets off a chemical reaction between the citric acid and the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). That’s why the dry mixture fizzed a little when the bubble bath was added. During the reaction, carbon dioxide is created making those relaxing fizzing bubbles.
Super Cool Science
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