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Kate Thompson

Children's Author

Make a Balloon Burp

Balloon Burp

Burpnado has super burpy powers. But everyone burps sometimes – let’s find out why!

You Will Need:

  • 1 500ml plastic drink bottle
  • 1 medium-sized balloon
  • Vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 funnel (if you have one)
  • 1 grown-up helper

What To Do:

  1. Carefully fill the bottle about halfway with vinegar.
  2. Stretch out your balloon, you could even blow it up and let it deflate again to really stretch it out.
  3. Put bicarbonate of soda inside your deflated balloon. Using a funnel makes this easier. If you don’t have a funnel, you could make a paper one, or just spoon it in. You can experiment with different amounts of bicarbonate of soda. Try about 2 teaspoons to start.
  4. Attach the open end of the balloon to the top of the bottle.
  5. Lift the balloon up so that the bicarbonate of soda falls into the vinegar.
  6. Watch what happens! You might need to give the bottle a little swirl.
  7. Once the balloon has blown up, your grown-up can carefully take it off the top of the bottle, pinching the end to make sure the gas doesn’t escape.
  8. Now stand back as your grown-up carefully releases the end of the balloon to make it burp!

What Is Happening?

You have just carried a scientific experiment involving a chemical reaction between bicarbonate of soda (which is what science calls a ‘base’) and vinegar (which is an ‘acid’). Mixing them together produces a gas called carbon dioxide, which floats up and into the balloon. Because the gas is trapped in the balloon it inflates it!

Did You Know?

We burp to release gas that has built up in our tummy or food pipe (called the ‘oesophagus’). Gas can build up if we swallow too much air, or if we drink fizzy drinks too quickly. The fizz in these drinks are bubbles of carbon dioxide – the same gas made by this reaction!

If we have too much gas (just like the inflated balloon), it can feel uncomfortable, and our body will push out the gas as a burp!