Monday, April 23, 2012

Science Experiment: Make Colored Fire

 If you're doing this with preschoolers, making colored fire is more of a demonstration that they get to help organize...see the safety precautions below! 

Simple Supplies:
  • tissues or other flammable kindling
  • rubbing alcohol
  • powdered boric acid
  • long-handled lighter

Easy How-To:
  1. In a dark, well-ventilated area pour some alcohol onto your kindling.
  2. Sprinkle boric acid on top of the alcohol.
  3. Use the lighter to carefully ignite the alcohol.
  4. If you want an extra splash of color as the alcohol and/or kindling burn, carefully sprinkle a little more boric acid on the flame!

A Few Notes on SAFETY:

1-- Alcohol is very flammable and fire is hot.  Please take the necessary precautions to keep your children safe.  Never let a child handle fire or lighters.  
2-- Make sure you perform this experiment outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.  Do not breathe fumes.
3-- If you do additional burning experiments with chemicals you are unfamiliar with, look up their MSDS to make sure they are safe.  NEVER mix or burn chemicals unless you are certain the result is safe.
4-- When you are done, be sure your fire is completely extinguished and there is no danger of it re-igniting.

If you are careful, this is a fun and memorable experiment.  As I mentioned last week, my daughter has been very interested in experiments that explode, burn, and sparkle lately, so this is a natural step for her.  She actually brainstormed (and I helped her attempt) several other ways to get colored fire before I did this one for her.  She was most disappointed when food coloring did not yield the right color flame, but was very happy with the way this one turned out.  Different chemicals release different amounts of energy, which results in different colored flames.  Children really enjoy choosing different items to burn and anticipating the results.  Just remember Safety Note #3 above!

I may share at any of these parties!

Science Experiment: Make Colored Fire


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katepickle said...

oooh what a cool experiment. I know my kids would love this... wish I'd known about this a few weeks back when had our bon fire! Pinning it for next time.

maggy, red ted art said...

Oooh what an exciting experiment!

Would adore for you share them on "Kids Get Crafty" - it is every week on a Wednesday - Monday. Would be fabulous to have you join in!

Thank you


Cynthia Renee' said...

Now that is cool!

Tutus & Tea Parties said...

So cool! I'll have to have hubby try this with us...I'm not too good with fire. :) Thanks for sharing at A Pinteresting Party!

Michelles Tasty Creations said...


I followed you over from Happy Hour Projects. This is such a cool experiment.

I would like to invite you to share this, and any other posts, on my link party at Have a great weekend.


Marji said...

Sweet! My 4 yo will love this! :-) Thanks!

Kimberly Sminkey said...

Thanks for sharing it with us at tip toe thru tuesday! Hope you'll stop by and link up tomorrow too, we will be having a nice Mother's Day giveaway!

maggy, red ted art said...

Thank you for sharing for hopping over (to Kids Get Crafty!) ;-)

Ana Dziengel said...

Great experiment! I love that you are bold and decided to work with fire under controlled conditions. Good lesson for kids.

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