Looking to add a little something extra to your summer fun? Something extra like making a rocket? It is actually pretty easy to do. Ben thought it was super exciting, and Ali and Sammy got a kick out of it too. This is an easy and fun science activity to do with your preschooler or toddler. You just need a plastic Easter egg, a toilet paper tube, and some Alka-Seltzer. Here is how to make an Easter Egg Rocket.
What You Need
- Alka-Selzer Tablet
- Plastic Easter Egg (the kind in two pieces)
- Toilet Paper Tube
- Rocket decor
First, you will want to create your rocket. This part is up to your child. They can color the toilet paper tube, add fins, or add a cone to make it look more rocket-like. Don’t add anything too heavy though, or the rocket won’t fly.
Build the Rocket
Take the top part of the plastic egg (the side that is more narrow), and place it in the bottom of the toilet paper tube rocket. You want most of the egg half inside the tube. Then tape or glue the egg to the tube to hold it in place.
This part requires adult help. The explosion isn’t big, but it can be sudden and startle little ones. Place one-fourth of an Alka-Seltzer tablet into the bottom portion of the plastic egg. Have your child add 1 tablespoon water to the egg half. Quickly (as fast as you can, so the adult should probably do this part) stick the rocket on to the top of the egg bottom. Hold onto the egg bottom and point your rocket away from everyone.
And in a few seconds, it should launch!!
You can repeat this with more tablets, but I recommend drying out the bottom egg before each launch.
So what is going on here? Alka-Seltzer contains citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. When the water dissolves the tablet these two ingredients are able to react and form carbon dioxide. This gas is what fills the egg. That pressure from the gas is too great for the plastic egg to stay together, so the top part with the rocket blasts off.
This is a relatively safe activity. But you are making a projectile, so use caution not to point it at anyone. Make sure your little ones know to not point it at anyone, especially anyone’s face. Anytime you are creating a high-pressure situation, even in a plastic egg, you need to take care. Basically, use your common sense and err on the side of safety.
A Few Hints
Make sure you use an Easter egg that isn’t too hard to pull apart. (We all know those impossible eggs that just frustrate our kids. Don’t use those.) If the reaction in the egg isn’t big enough to launch the rocket, try adding a bigger piece of Alka-Seltzer. Finally, make sure that the whole tablespoon of water makes it into the egg. The reaction won’t be big enough without enough water. Remember, if it doesn’t work right away that is not a bad thing. Encourage your child to help you problem solve and try again. That’s the scientific way to do it!
Looking for more fun learning activities? Check these out!
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