Exploding bag science experiment, yep kids love this easy science! Our popping bags outdoor science activity is a MUST try and a classic. Experiment with a baking soda and vinegar reaction that’s a real blast. Kids love things that fizz, pop, bang, explode, and erupt. These bursting bags do just that! We have tons of simple science experiments you are going to love to try!


Bursting bags Outdoor Science Experiment for Kids Summer Science and STEM


This simple science activity has been on our to-do list for a while now because it’s a classic! Sometimes referred to as the exploding lunch bag, our popping bag activity is the perfect way to get your kiddos excited about science! Who doesn’t love something that explodes?

Baking soda and vinegar reactions make for exciting science activities!

Baking soda and vinegar chemical reactions are fascinating, engaging, and easy for everyone to enjoy! Our latest popping bag experiment is perfect for a summer science experiment. It is recommended that you take this one outdoors because it could get quite messy.

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Bursting Bags tough bag would not burst but completely full go gas from baking soda vinegar reaction


Even the youngest scientist can learn a little something about the science behind our exploding bags. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar creates a gas called carbon dioxide. You can see this in fizzy drinks like our fizzy lemonade.

The carbon dioxide gas then fills up the bag. If there is more gas than the room available in the bag, the bag will burst, pop, or explode. Similar to our baking soda volcano activity. There’s no place for the gas and liquid to go but up and/or out.

Simple sandbox volcano for a kids chemistry activity and demonstration. Baking soda science with a volcano in the sand box. Great outdoor STEM and science for preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary age kids. All the best science experiments and activities for kids here!

The key to really cool exploding bags is getting the ratio of baking soda to vinegar right. This is also what makes it such a fun science experiment for kids of multiple ages. Older kids can record data, make careful measurements, and re-test. Younger kids will enjoy the playful aspect of it all. 


Head to the kitchen to gather your supplies. A well-stocked pantry, especially with plenty of baking soda and vinegar, ensures that you have fun science on hand any time you want!

Put together a homemade science kit to kick off your science adventures. The dollar store also has some great additions. Grab a box of gallon bags while you are there!

Click here for your FREE Science Activities Pack


  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Small sandwich bags or Gallon Size Bags 
  • Toilet paper
  • Tablespoon Measure and 2/3 Cup Measure
  • Safety Goggle or Sun Glasses (always be safe)!

Bursting bags Science Set Up Vinegar Baking Soda Chemical Reaction Activity


To get started with your bursting bags outdoor science project, you want to create a toilet paper pouch for the baking soda.  This slows down the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda.  It’s all about the anticipation!

STEP 1. Take one square of toilet paper and place a heaped tablespoon of baking soda in the middle.

Bursting Bags Science Baking Soda Pouches made with toilet paper

STEP 2. Bring the corners of the toilet paper together and wind up the top to create a simple pouch.

STEP 3. Add 2/3 cup of vinegar to your plastic bag. 

STEP 4. Seal the bag so there is just enough room to slip in the pouch.

STEP 5. Give the bag a little shake and toss on the ground.

Watch and see what happens with your exploding bag.  Will it pop, burp, explode?


We attempted to follow the instructions from Steve Spangler, but we were not having any luck. We decided to experiment with our popping bags on our own.  What did we need to change?

Experimenting is what science activities are all about!

I am glad we did not have immediate success with our bursting bags science activity.  The problems our exploding bags had presented my son with opportunities to think of solutions. He needed to use his critical thinking skills to brainstorm new ideas.

I love that he wanted to keep trying more of these almost bursting bags. He was excited to see if the next bag would work better or differently. 

With a little assistance from a pool noodle below, he was able to make one of the bursting bags burst!

Bursting Bag Wouldn't burst

We did finally have success with our bags. The one below grew and grew until it popped the bottom seam! I wonder what would happen if we added food coloring to the activity?

Bursting bags Chemical Reaction Pressure Build Up Pops Bag CO2

Looking for easy science process information and activity ideas? 

We have you covered…

Click here for your FREE Science Activities Pack


Click on the image below or on the link for more fun summer STEM activities.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for your posts!
    Just fyi you say to put a heaping tablespoon of vinegar on the toilet paper 😉

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