Uses for Vinegar: Children's Activities

Vinegar is an inexpensive ingredient that can be used in many fun arts and crafts projects for children. This article includes some of the many exciting activities that are possible with vinegar. (Some of the projects in this article require adult supervision.)


Make a M­otor­boat


This easy science project will be boatloads of fun for both you and your children. Be sure to supervise your kids during this activity.



  • Baking soda
  • Several squares of toilet paper
  • 1 clean 16-ounce plastic soda bottle with cap
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Bathtub or wading pool full of water

" size="2">Pour 3 tablespoons baking soda onto a toilet paper square, and fold square into a packet to hold the baking soda. Stuff the folded toilet paper into the soda bottle. You can add 1 or 2 more squares to the bottle, but don't overstuff. Hold bottle cap in one hand as you pour 1/4 cup vinegar into the bottle. Quickly put the cap on, and twist once. Put bottle into the bathtub or pool. The reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar should cause the bottle to "sail" across the water.

Shine up your pennies, and learn a thing or two about the chemical reaction between vinegar and copper.

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Clear, shallow bowl (not metal)
  • 20 very dirty pennies
  • Paper towels
  • 2 rusty nails
  1. Add vinegar and salt to the bowl, and stir until the salt dissolves. Using your fingers, dip one penny halfway into the mixture, and hold it there for 10 seconds. What happened? The penny should become shiny. The vinegar removes copper oxide, which is what causes pennies to become dirty.
  2. Next, put the remaining pennies into the vinegar mixture. Watch them for a few seconds to see what happens. After 5 minutes, take 10 of the pennies out of the mixture and leave the others in. Put the ones you took out onto a paper towel to dry. Then remove the rest of the pennies, rinse them under running water, and place on a paper towel to dry. Are there differences in the two batches of pennies? You should observe that the unrinsed pennies turned blue-green.
  3. Now put two rusty nails into the vinegar mixture. Make sure one is completely covered in the mixture and the other is leaning against the side of the bowl, only halfway into the mixture. After 10 minutes, look at the nails and note the differences. One should be completely shiny, and the one dipped halfway should be half shiny and half dull.