Did you know when vinegar and baking soda combine, a gas forms and the pressure exerted is strong enough to blow up a balloon? Grab a few household items and watch a balloon self-inflate with this cool craft project and science experiment rolled into one!


  • an empty plastic bottle
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • small spoon
  • copy paper
  • permanent marker
  • balloon
  • scissors
  • glue stick


    1. balloon-longCut a thick strip of copy paper. Draw a shirt for the front of your empty bottle. Glue the paper around the empty plastic bottle.

    2. Using your permanent marker, draw a face on your balloon.

    3. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into your empty water bottle.

    4. Next, using a small spoon pour baking soda into your balloon until it's about 1/4 the way full.

    5. Now you are ready to perform your science experiment! Carefully stretch the neck of the balloon around the neck of the bottle partially filled with vinegar, making sure to keep the baking soda in the balloon. When you're ready, dump the baking soda into the vinegar and watch as your balloon (or in this case, face!) grows and inflates!


Caroline Gravino, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

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