This time of year bursts with discovery and wonder, so why not make the most of it? Take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy this simple chemistry experiment that features everyone’s favorite scientific ingredients: vinegar and baking soda.

Kids never tire of seeing this classic base and solid reaction. No matter the shape it takes, watching those bubbles grow will always make your little chemist erupt with excitement. Here we make little “evergreens” to demonstrate this scientific standard of chemical reactions.

Chemistry Trees

Supplies to make your own trees:

  • Baking soda
  • Food coloring
  • A splash of water
  • Paper plates
  • Vinegar
  • Glitter
  • Eyedropper or pipette
  • Bowl, spoon, and tray


First, pour about 2 to 2 ½ cups of baking soda into the bowl. Feel free to scale these portions for the number of trees you want to make.

Bowl with ingredient

Next, add green food coloring and a splash of water.

Bowl with dye

Stir the mixture really well. Add glitter for added sparkle. The mixture should be crumbly but should be able to pack tightly (similar to kinetic sand). The last thing you want it to be is soupy or clumpy.

Bowl with mixed ingredients

Grab a white paper plate, and cut it in half.

Paper plate

Twist the plate into a cone shape. Tape the sides to keep the shape.

Tree cone

Then pack the baking soda mixture into the cones. Be sure to pack it tightly. Level off the top.

Tree cone packing the ingredients Tree cone with ingredeints

Maybe make another round of snow-capped trees without food coloring? Add confetti for a special reveal.

Dry ingredients mixed

Place all the cones on a cookie sheet and keep in the freezer for at least six hours.

Tree cones

When your chemists are ready, pull your trees from the freezer. Grab a pie plate or any kind of dish with sides high enough to contain the liquid, but low enough for your kids to see the reaction up close.

Pour the vinegar into a cup and add a little green food coloring. Your trees will be a bit more brilliant green if you add food coloring to the vinegar.

White vinegar

Carefully unwrap your trees from the paper plate cone over the pie plate so any crumbles are caught.

Tree cone rolled up

Create your “forest” in the pie plate. Then using the eyedropper or pipette, begin to drip the vinegar over the trees. The fizzing begins immediately!

Green tree cones 1 Green tree cones 2

The vinegar reveals the hidden snowflakes and glitter.

Green tree cones 3

Once the forest is melted down, grab some spoon and stir it up. It was decided that the mess look liked soup the Grinch would like.

Spoon, bowl and ingredients

Repeat with other trees – the excitement level remains the same for each melting, fizzy tree! Happy holidays!

Green tree inside the bowl

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