STEAM Saturday – Patriotic Paint Bombs! (5/25/2024)

Patriotic Paint Bombs

It’s Memorial Day weekend, a time to spend with family and friends and pay tribute those who gave their lives in service to our country.  On this STEAM Saturday, you and your future chemist will enjoy the beautiful weather, celebrate Memorial Day, and have a “blast” getting messy together while making Patriotic Paint Bombs!

Making paint bombs is simple, and can be done with only a few materials that you might already have around your home!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Washable paint (red, white, and blue for Memorial Day)
  • Ziplock baggies (quart size)
  • Butcher Paper (or several sheets of paper attached together to form a big, mural-sized, sheet of paper)
  • Muffin liners

As we mentioned above, this experiment can get messy, so make sure to do it outside.  Find a large open space and cover it with your butcher paper.  Cover a larger area than you think… If your experiment works properly, you’ll see paint spray far and wide!

Add approximately one cup of vinegar to each of three bags.  To each bag, add around 2 tablespoons of washable paint – red in one, white in another, and blue in the last bag.  Zip your bags closed.   Next, fill three muffin liners with baking soda.  It should take approximately 2 tablespoons to fill each muffin liner.

Place your baggies in the center of your paper.  Open each bag slightly, place a muffin liner full of baking soda in the bag, and then seal it back up.  Make sure to remove yourself from the spray zone!

Exploding Paint Bomb Process PhotosNow, sit back and watch the chemical reaction that occurs when vinegar and baking soda are combined.  The acetic acid of the vinegar and the bicarbonate soda from the baking soda mix together to create carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide causes the bag to expand until… BOOM!  The bags should explode, sending red, white, and blue paint flying, and creating an artistic (and scientific) masterpiece!

Check out the full activity and the science behind it from STEAMsational HERE.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

Scroll to Top