This exploding chalk paint messy play activity is a LOT of fun! I enjoyed it just as much as the kids! (I had an inkling they would enjoy this as they absolutely love playing with ice chalk paint too). The vibrant colours are amazing and the exploding ‘pop’ is somehow very satisfying.
We experimented with this process in a couple of different ways in order to get the best explosion. I’ll outline both versions below so you can choose how you wish to do the activity…. or you may prefer to experiment yourself.
What You’ll Need:
- White vinegar
- Food colouring (a variety of colours)
- Sandwich size ziplock bags
- Baking soda
- Paint brush
- Paper towels
How to Make Your Exploding Chalk Paint:
In a large bowl mix together equal parts of cornflour and vinegar (I used 2 cups of each). Divide this into the ziplock bags. I used 4 bags but it didn’t need this much mixture in each bag, so I’d recommend dividing it into 6 bags. The more mixture in the bag, the bigger explosion, but the reaction and resulting ‘pop’ also happens very quickly. If you’d prefer a bit of suspense before the pop, don’t fill the bag too much.
Add a few drops of food colouring to each bag (the more you use the brighter and more vibrant the colour), seal tightly and mix it up.
Head outside with your exploding chalk paint bags. I popped Craft Aprons on my kids to protect their clothing (and save me washing!).
Before adding the baking soda to each bag make sure you give the bag a good mix again as the cornflour can start to separate and settle at the bottom of the bag.
For the explosion to occur, you simply need to add baking soda to each bag, very quickly seal it up tightly (I only partly opened the bag just enough to get the baking soda in) then pop it down on the ground and wait. First time around, I used a heaped tablespoon of baking soda to ensure a decent reaction and explosion (and to avoid disappointed kids!), but you probably don’t need to use quite this much.
Instantly the bags blew up and burst open (in fact, so quickly I couldn’t even get a photo of all the bags before they burst!).
The vibrant chalk paint then bubbled and ran out of the bag.
Depending on the amount of chalk paint mixture and baking soda used you may need to shake the bag up a little to get the ingredients reacting with one another.
Master 6 and Miss 4 then had a blast touching it and painting with it. I also gave them more baking soda to pour on to create more reactions.
We then decided to make some more and have another go, this time using ‘baking soda bombs’. Simply cut a paper towel into a medium sized square and place a dollop of baking soda in the middle then fold the paper towel up around it.
Once you have your bags of exploding chalk paint ready pop a baking soda bomb into each bag and quickly seal the bag tightly. This provided a different experience and the explosion of the bags bursting was not quite as spectacular.
The slower reaction meant a delayed explosion which gave everyone time to enjoy the build up and the kids loved touching the bags and waiting for them to burst.
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