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How to Turn Eggs into Rubber Balls

This is a really fun science experiment for kids. You might have heard this called the naked egg experiment or rubber egg experiment. Either way, it’s a lot of fun with science tucked in.

In this experiment, vinegar breaks down the egg shell leaving the membrane to protect the egg. The membrane is what’s between the egg shell and egg white. It is what normally protects a chick from bacteria. It is semi-permeable, so that is how the dye makes the egg change color even though it had a shell when you started the experiment.

The membrane is pretty strong, and that’s why you'll be able to bounce your naked egg, or rubber egg. It’s exciting to watch the kids bounce it, but stick to tiny bounces on the counter or it will break causing a big mess. I’d recommend covering the counter or tabletop with a plastic tablecloth or wax paper.

Now that you know a bit of the science behind it, let's make the rubber eggs.

What you'll need:

  • Mason jars with lids, at least 12oz but 16oz is better

  • Fresh eggs

  • Liquid food coloring

  • Vinegar

  • Paper towels

  • Plastic table cloth or wax paper to cover your table top

How to make rubber eggs:

Fill your mason jars half way with vinegar and then add about 10 drops of food coloring. Don't overfill the jars, the eggs need room to grow. There should still be a pocket of air at the top once your egg is in the jar. Then gently place your egg into the jar. Now put the lid on tightly. The next part is the hardest part, waiting. You'll need to wait 2 days before opening the lid. It's a great exercise in patience for kids.

Leave the jars in a place where the kids can check on them. Henry and Lilly Ann were very excited to watch the eggs grow in size and watch them float to the top and sink back down. After two days, the top of the water should look murky and the eggs will have noticeably grown. That's when they're ready to come out.

Prepare your counter top or table with a plastic tablecloth or wax paper. This will be a little messy. I opened the jars over the sink. Once you take your egg out of the jar, you can discard the vinegar. Blot the egg dry with a paper towel. I did not do this and should have. Now hand the egg over to the kids. Let them feel the texture, roll the egg around and lightly bounce it. Don't bounce it too hard or it will break. At the end of play, if the egg hasn't broken, break one so that the kids can see the inside. They'll be surprised to find that the egg runs clear and the yolk is still in tact and yellow. The egg shell dissolved in vinegar but the membrane did its job and protected the yolk.

How did the experiment go for your family? Post your comments below.

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