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Self Inflating Balloon Experiment

How about some science fun with a balloon? My seven-year-old was amazed by this. He had no idea what to expect when we started this self inflating balloon experiment.

Self Inflating Balloon

Self Inflating Balloon Experiment

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I used a Sharpie to draw a face on our balloon just to give it a little more fun, and to pretend we were growing a monster head with Halloween coming up soon.

Gauge loved this, I don’t know if you can hear him in the video or not, but he says “Did you know this would happen?!” Who knows inflating a balloon could be so much fun.

What You Need:

How to make a balloon self inflate

This is a science experiment simple enough for your kids to do themselves. My almost seven-year-old did it with very little help from me.

Start by measuring out half a cup of vinegar.

Self Inflating Balloon Experiment

It is very helpful to have a funnel for the next part: pouring the vinegar into a bottle. A funnel means less will get spilled.

Self Inflating Balloon Experiment - pouring vinegar into a bottle

We dried off our funnel and used it to put half a tablespoon of baking soda into our balloon.

Self Inflating Balloon - filling a balloon with baking soda

Remove the funnel from your balloon, and carefully fit it over the opening of your bottle without spilling any of the baking soda in the bottle. It will cause a reaction before you are ready.

Self Inflating Balloon

Once you are ready and watching you can flip the balloon up to empty the baking soda into the bottle. The reaction does happen quite fast.

Self Inflating Balloon

Now you just wait for the reaction. My favorite part of this is that this science experiment uses things you most likely have around your house already.

We have balloons from parties past “floating” around our house, which is probably why I have been finding activities to do with my kids using balloons. Time to use them up before another birthday, and party theme comes around.

Self Inflating Balloon Experiment

What’s Happening:

The secret lies with vinegar and baking soda, two household staples that, when combined, create carbonic acid. Carbonic acid breaks down into water and carbon dioxide.

This experiment uses carbon dioxide to fill the balloon, giving the illusion that the balloon is self-inflating.

Self Inflating Balloon

Self Inflating Balloon

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1

Easy science experiment for kids using things you have in the kitchen.


  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • balloons
  • water/pop bottle


  • funnel


  1. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into an old water or pop bottle.
  2. put 1/2 tbsp of baking soda into a balloon.
  3. Carefully, put the opening of the balloon over the water bottle.
  4. Empty the baking soda into the bottle, and into the vinegar and watch the reaction.

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