How to make Fizzing Potions

If you subscribe to the blog you’ll already know we’re big Harry Potter fans in this house! Whilst I can quite manage a full-blown potions class, I can show you how to make fizzing potions with the kids. This is a really quick and cheap science experiment inspired by Harry Potter and the results last for ages. We did this about 6 hours ago and one of the cups is still fizzing! If you really want to theme it you could do the experiment in cauldrons. Assuming you’ve got a couple of those kicking around of course!

What you’ll need

To make each fizzing potions you’ll need;

  • 100ml citric acid
  • 100ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 100ml water
  • A few drops of food colouring
  • A tall clear cup/glass or a cauldron if you have one!
  • A deep dish to catch any spills
Harry Potter science experiments | Easy home science | Free time with the kids
It wasn’t until I was posting this picture I realised why the yellow one took so long to fizz up. Smallest Child was pouring all of her solution onto the tray!!

How to make fizzing potions

Lots of people know the kind of reaction that you can get from mixing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda (it’s one of the experiments included in the easy science experiments page). Mixing citric acid, bicarb and water has a similar – but longer last effect. Bicarb and vinegar is great for super fast reactions that are over quite quickly. The citric acid and bicarbonate of soda experiment is better for something like making fizzing potions because it looks like it’s boiling. Have a look at this

All you need to do is mix of bicarbonate of soda and of citric acid in your cup or glass. We found the best way to do this (for maximum boil), was to put each powder into a separate cup and then pour them into your mixing pot together. Adding one, then the other and mixing just didn’t seem to get the right, consistent mix of the two chemicals.

Add a few drops of food dye to the of water. The more food dye you add – the stronger the colour of your fizzy potion will be. We were fairly heavy handed with the colouring in this experiment. I guess that’s why we get through a lot of food colouring in this house!!

Then you simply need to pour the water onto your citric acid/ bicarbonate of soda mix and watch the reaction. You’ll get the initial rush of foam (potentially overflowing) but then it will start to look more like a simmering potion.

How to make fizzing potions | Easy science experiments | Citric acid and bicarbonate of soda reaction | Free Time with the Kids

We decided to make several potions, all of different colours (aka different fizzing potions). When we’d finished I put them all into a bowl and they made a really cool multicoloured foam.

How to make fizzing potions | Easy science experiments | Citric acid and bicarbonate of soda reaction | Free Time with the Kids

Cleaning up

When you’ve finished you can just pour the remaining potion down the sink. Don’t forget though, if there is any un-reacted powder and you add more water it WILL start to foam again. When I poured the bowl into the shower to wash it away I ended up filling the ENTIRE SHOWER TRAY WITH FOAM. Right to the very top! Oops. Don’t worry, it does settle down again eventually and, as this woman shows, it actually helps to clean your drains! Science and housework all in one! Who knew?!!?

Enjoyed doing this science activity with the kids? If so, have a look at the science experiments section of the website by clicking here.

How to make fizzing potions | Easy science experiments | Citric acid and bicarbonate of soda reaction | Free Time with the Kids | Harry Potter inspired science

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Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch or get in touch via Facebook