Can you make popcorn dance? I bet you can with this magical science activity the kids will love this fall. This dancing corn experiment can be done any time of the year, but it’s particularly fun during the Fall season.  A simple science experiment everyone will love!


Enjoy A Popcorn Experiment For Fall or Thanksgiving

Fall is the perfect time to experiment with pumpkins. apples and even corn! Our dancing popcorn experiment is an awesome example of a chemical reaction, and kids love these amazing reactions just as much as adults! You could also try carbonated water or a clear soda like we used here for dancing hearts.

We also have a whole season of fun Thanksgiving science activities for you to try!

Look no further than your kitchen pantry when you need an easy-to-set-up, quick, and budget-friendly science activity with the kids! Gather around the counter and try out this science experiment with various ingredients you can add to your shopping list or already have!

The perfect kitchen science experiment is when you are already in the kitchen—baking a pie, cooking that turkey? Bring out the science too! Check your pantry; I bet you have everything you need to put together this simple dancing corn experiment.

We love chemical reactions and have been exploring chemistry for kindergarten, elementary, and middle school now for 10 years. Check out our list of awesome Baking Soda Experiments perfect for learning and hands-on fun any time of the year!

Using The Scientific Method With Kids

The scientific method is a process or method of research. A problem is identified, information about the problem is gathered, a hypothesis or question is formulated from the information, and the hypothesis is tested with an experiment to prove or disprove its validity.

Sounds heavy! What in the world does that mean?!? It means you don’t need to try and solve the world’s biggest science questions! The scientific method is all about studying and learning things right around you.

As children develop practices that involve creating, gathering data evaluating, analyzing, and communicating, they can apply these critical thinking skills to any situation.

READ MORE: The Scientific Method For Kids With Examples

Note: The use of the best Science and Engineering Practices is also relevant to the topic of using the scientific method. Read more and see if it fits your science planning needs.

Helpful Science Resources To Get Your Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

Turn It Into A Popcorn Science Project

Science projects are an excellent tool for older kiddos to show what they know about science! Plus, they can be used in all sorts of environments including classrooms, homeschool, and groups.

Kids can take everything they have learned about using the scientific method, stating a hypothesis, choosing variables, making observations and analyzing and presenting data.

Want to turn one of these experiments into an awesome science fair project? Check out these helpful resources.

Fun Variations Of Our Dancing Corn Experiment

Don’t have popcorn on hand? Here are some other easy ideas for setting up a similar experiment using everyday items you will find in your kitchen.

Tips For Experiment Set Up

I love science that uses simple supplies, is playful, and isn’t a pain to set up with a bunch of complicated directions. This experiment is so easy to do at home but you can also bring it into the classroom!

This dancing corn experiment can get a bit messy in a fun way! Make sure to have a surface or area you can easily clean up. You can even start by placing your glass or jar in a pie dish or on a cookie sheet to catch the overflow.

FREE printable Thanksgiving Projects!

Dancing Popcorn Experiment

Explore more popcorn science with our fun popcorn in a bag activity!


  • Tall Jar or Glass {mason jars work well}
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of popping corn
  • 2 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup  of vinegar (use as needed)
  • 2 cups of water

Want to try it with clear soda instead of baking soda and vinegar? Click here for dancing cranberries!


STEP 1. Grab your ingredients and let’s get started! You can use just about any tall glass or jar. An adult might want to assist with the measuring and pouring if necessary, but it’s also great practice for junior scientists.

STEP 2.  You can then have the kiddos fill the jar with 2 cups of water to start.

STEP 3. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and stir well to mix thoroughly. You can also talk about which solids dissolve in water!

TIP: Add a drop of food coloring (optional)

STEP 5. Now add the popping corn kernels or popcorn. You don’t need to add too many for a fun dancing effect.

At this point, you have the perfect opportunity to talk about predictions and have your kids predict what they think will happen when the vinegar is added.

STEP 6.  Now here comes the fun part of our dancing popcorn science project, adding the vinegar.

I would suggest adding the vinegar slowly. I filled a small party cup with vinegar. My son doesn’t do anything slowly, but he loves a good eruption!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Erupting Volcano Experiments

Dancing Corn Thanksgiving Science Baking Soda EruptionPin

How Does The Dancing Popcorn Experiment Work?

A chemical reaction occurs between two or more substances that change and form a new substance.  In this case, you have an acid (liquid vinegar) and a base (solid baking soda).

When the baking soda and vinegar are combined, they make a gas called carbon dioxide which produces the eruption you can see as well as the dancing action.

The secret to the magic dancing corn is the baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction.  The carbon dioxide bubbles lift the corn, but as the bubbles pop, the corn falls back down! You can repeat this experiment over and over again. We watched the corn “dance” for 30 minutes!

Learn more about…

You can stir the mixture if you like or you can just observe it as is! Our dancing corn experiment lasted for a good half hour but slowed down along the way as the chemical reaction faded.

We did explore adding a spoonful of baking soda to the mix and had another little eruption and of course more dancing corn! I have seen people comment saying that it isn’t magic it’s science.

Of course, they are correct, but  I believe simple science activities for kids can be a bit magical too! Not only are they having an awesome time, but you are also encouraging a further love of learning and interest in the sciences!

More Fun Science Experiments To Try

Printable Science Projects For Kids

If you’re looking to grab all of our printable science projects in one convenient place plus exclusive worksheets and bonuses like a STEAM Project pack, our Science Project Pack is what you need! Over 300+ Pages!

  • 90+ classic science activities with journal pages, supply lists, set up and process, and science information. NEW! Activity-specific observation pages!
  • Best science practices posters and our original science method process folders for extra alternatives!
  • Be a Collector activities pack introduces kids to the world of making collections through the eyes of a scientist. What will they collect first?
  • Know the Words Science vocabulary pack includes flashcards, crosswords, and word searches that illuminate keywords in the experiments!
  • My science journal writing prompts explore what it means to be a scientist!!
  • Bonus STEAM Project Pack: Art meets science with doable projects!
  • Bonus Quick Grab Packs for Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics.


  1. I do a lot of cranberry activities for thanksgiving…i make dough or slime with pureed cranberry. I also make a cranberry bog with fresh cranberries and water and tractor toys…and crush them with mortar, pestles and coffee filters to remove the natural red die

  2. What a fun activity exploring a fun chemical reaction! I love how enthusiastic your son looks as well! Fantastic science fun for fall.

  3. Pingback: Brilliant Thanksgiving STEM Activities Kids Will Go Nuts For
  4. This was great fun for our preschoolers to watch. They loved guessing what would happen and watching the reaction. Thank you!

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