Experiments

Easy Science Experiments For Kids: The flying tea bag

Here follow my instructions for the flying tea bag experiment. Did you know that there was another use for tea bags than just making tea? 😉 I wonder who was curious enough to try this in the first place. It is a cool experiment and it involves both a chemical reaction and a physical phenomenon. Adult supervision is a must since this in this experiment fire is handled. 

Remember to start the experiment with a hypothesis, what do you think will happen?

Instructions for parents: Read this first.

Material included:

  • A tea bag
  • A lighter

Additional things you will need:

  • A plate
  • A bucket of water
  • Safety goggles

Description:

  1. Take the tea bag and remove the attached piece of string with a paper label at the top.
  2. Pour out the tea leaves.
  3. Form the tea bag as a long tube.
  4. Place it standing on the plate.
  5. Light the top of the tea bag on fire.
  6. Countdown.
  7. What happens?

Safety:

  • Adult supervision is a must.
  • Make sure nothing flammable is close.
  • Have a bucket of water ready.
  • Have safety goggles on.
  • Be careful with fire.

Explanation:

When the tea bag burns, the tea bag reacts with the oxygen in the air. In this chemical reaction, the tea bag and oxygen are consumed, while also forming carbon dioxide and water.

However, the entire bag is not consumed, the non-flammable ingredients remain as a porous and lightweight material.

But why does the tea bag lift-off?

The physical phenomenon happens when the tea bag is on fire. The air is heated inside the tea bag, and thus it gets a lower density than the surrounding air – in other words, the air in the tea bag gets lighter. 

Warm air rises as the earth’s gravity have a weaker pull on it compared to cold air.

To see others do the experiment look at this video:

Click the link to get to my Kids Christmas Calendar for more experiments.

Do you have any questions or comments about the experiment? Just leave a comment below!

Thanks!

Marika

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