Uses for Baking Soda: Children's Activities

By: Christine Halvorson

Baking soda can do some amazing things to your children's activities or projects. Mixing a liquid with a solid can form a gas. That may sound boring, but it can be a lot of fun to watch. The various chemical properties of baking soda make for some interesting rainy-day projects for kids and may just pique an interest in science. Build a volcano, make a picture frame, or create a piece of jewelry. In this article, you will see many tips with baking soda to demonstrate some basic principles of science or just to have some fun. Let's start with some simple projects.

Jumping seeds: Dissolve a 2/3 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup of water in a large glass. Add apple seeds from one apple and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, then stir the mixture. The bubbles will carry the seeds up and down.


Magic beans: Fill a vase with water, add food coloring and 1/4 cup of vinegar, then add 3 teaspoons of baking soda. Drop in the buttons, rice, or pasta, and watch them rise and fall like magic.

Play Clay Projects

Baking soda and some other ingredients can be turned into Play Clay, a special dough that can offer hours of fun and be used in a variety of projects. The Play Clay recipe is at the bottom of this page. Make it and let your child unleash their imagination.

Frameups: Capture a child's handprint in Play Clay by pressing into the damp clay. When it is dry, paint and add the child's name and date on the back, then attach a picture hanger.


Cut a square or rectangle from Play Clay, then cut a frame opening the size of a favorite photograph. Leave a 1/2-inch border. Use another piece of clay for a stand to attach to the back. Decorate the frame.

Create a name plaque for a child's room by cutting out the shapes of letters and attaching them to a rectangular piece of Play Clay as the background. Paint and finish it when it is dry.


More Play Clay Projects

Jewelry: Shape beads for a necklace by rolling Play Clay into oval or round shapes. Press a toothpick through to make holes for stringing.

String Play Clay beads on thread, shoelaces, yarn, kite string, or fishing line. Tie knots between the beads to hold them in place.


To make an earring or brooch, create small shapes with a flat backside, and glue them to earring or pin backings.

: Make fancy napkin rings by rolling out a long, narrow rectangle of clay, then piecing the ends together into a ring. Use cookie cutters to make tree ornaments. While the ornament is still wet, make a hole near the top for hanging. Add an ornament hook or ribbon to hang the ornament.

Play Clay Finishing Touches: Paint dry pieces with watercolor, poster, or acrylic paints. Draw with felt-tip pen or waterproof marker. Apply glitter to wet paint. Smooth rough or cracked edges with an emery board. Protect finished Play Clay objects with clear acrylic spray or clear nail polish.

©Publications International, Ltd.