Add a touch of magic to your STEAM activities for preschoolers with these hatching eggs! They only take two ingredients to make and provide tons of magical fun!
We have made it a bit of a tradition to bring out the baking soda and vinegar to mix up potions on special occasions. Last year we did a pumpkin potion and on Valentine’s Day she whipped up a love potion. These activities have a few of my favorite characteristics: they take hardly any prep work, they keep her entertained for at least an hour, and they are CHEAP to make!
This year I knew we would do the pumpkin again- because she had already asked me at least a hundred times- but I wanted to give it a special twist. We had a few lazy days for Ry’s birthday weekend and had a Harry Potter marathon. When she saw Hagrid hatch his own dragon she was obsessed and wanted one of her own! I remembered when we did the fizzing alphabet activity, and knew I had to recreate it with dragon eggs! The combination of the reaction between baking soda and the mixing colors makes this a great STEAM activity for preschoolers.
- baking soda
- liquid water colors (we still use this DIY version)
- mini dragon figurines
We did this and the pumpkin potion activity two days in a row and I used two of the small boxes of baking soda. The amount of each ingredient you need depends on the size and number of figurines you use. You can use anything plastic, we used the water bottle lids for our last activity, I just wouldn’t recommend anything too large or you will need a ton of baking soda!
The baking soda eggs are super easy to make, but they do need dry time. It is best to break this into two days worth of activities and make the eggs one day then let them dry and hatch them the next day.
To make the eggs I set out three small bowls for each color I wanted to use. We then poured baking soda and glitter into each and slowly added the liquid watercolors. You want the baking soda to just be a little bit wet, it will feel like wet sand. Too much water and it will be too sticky to shape, but this is easily remedied by mixing in more baking soda. We then scooped a small amount into the palms of our lands and placed a dragon figurine in the center. Then add a thin layer of the baking soda mixture on top, don’t make it too thick or it will take a whole bottle of vinegar to hatch! You can then roll the ball of baking soda around in your hands to give it an egg shape, and make sure all the legs and wings are covered. Set the eggs out on a tray to dry for at least 4 hours, but leaving them overnight is best!
This activity is messy messy. We love making colorful messes but this one is a lot even for me. This year I finally decided to take her desk straight outside! I definitely recommend setting up an area that is ready for lots of vinegar to be spilled, and have a direct route to the shower!
Hatching Your Dragons
Once our eggs were nice and dry our little baby dragons were ready to hatch! I set up four at a time on a little cookie sheet and poured a small amount of vinegar into a small glass. The first time we did the project I gave her an eye dropper which is amazing for fine motor skills, but it took forever to get the eggs to hatch! I think that she will be better at using one next year, so if your little dragon lover is older definitely give it a try!
She was so excited to start hatching her eggs and see which one hatched first! There was a favorite dragon that she couldn’t wait to find. The eggs bubbled and the colors mixed together so beautifully. Once all of the dragons had appeared she loved using her wooden wand to mix the colors and glitter together. The perfect STEAM and process art combo!
Because we had already made a colorful mess in the backyard, I decided to break out the pumpkin potion again! Simply mix dish soap, vinegar, and liquid watercolors in an empty pumpkin and pour in the baking soda! This makes your potion extra bubbly. We were able to use up the extra blue liquid watercolor and of course finished up our supply of baking soda and vinegar!
An extra little tip: place a small glass or container inside the pumpkin. It’s much more fun when your potion overflows and the cup makes it so you don’t have to use all your vinegar at once!