Exploding Fireworks Painting – 4th of July Craft for Kids

In the spirit of the 4th of July, we combined art with science to make some exploding fireworks. This outdoor 4th of July craft for kids is sure to be great fun!

Exploding Fireworks Painting - 4th Of July Craft for Kids

Exploding Fireworks Painting – a 4th of July Craft for Kids

Have you ever seen or made baking soda and vinegar bombs? You place baking soda and vinegar in a container {usually a plastic baggie}. The baking soda and vinegar react producing carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide causes the baggie to expand and, if the pressure is great enough, eventually explode {or at least pop}.

We thought it would be fun to combine this science process with some paint. When the bags pop, the paint will explode out and create a splatter that looks like fireworks. Here’s what we did.


  • small plastic baggies with good closure {the thinner, the better}
  • washable paint {or liquid watercolors}
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • toilet paper or thin paper towels
  • paper {we used a large piece of freezer paper}
  • paint clothes {just in case}

The Process:

  1. Pour around 1/3 of cup of vinegar into a plastic baggie. {You may need to play around with the amounts of baking soda, vinegar, and paint depending on the size of your bags.}
  2. Add some paint. Mix the paint with the vinegar. {We noticed some colors mixed better than others.}
  3. Go outside. {This activity is messy, so it’s easiest to do outside.}
  4. Put down your paper. We used a large piece of freezer paper. It held up well to all of the the vinegar.
  5. Create little packets of baking soda: add about a tablespoon of baking soda to a square of toilet paper or a small piece of thin paper towel.
    baking soda packet
  6. While the vinegar is in one corner of the baggie, place the baking soda packet in the other corner of the baggie. Try to leave a good amount of air in the bag, and seal the baggie well. {Don’t worry if the baking soda and vinegar start to mix right away. Just quickly seal the bag.}
  7. Shake the bag to mix together the baking soda and vinegar.
  8. Watch the bag inflate. It should eventually pop and release the paint.

Our first bag did not explode. I didn’t have enough air in the bag and didn’t seal the bag quickly enough. We added a little more vinegar and tried it again.

Exploding Fireworks Painting - 4th Of July Craft for Kids

Our second bag inflated really well, but also didn’t explode. Aiden try pushing on the bag to help it. Our bag was really strong. We then took to throwing the baggie on the paper. The bag finally exploded everywhere {on the paper, on the ground, on Aiden and on me}.

Our next bag exploded but the paint did not escape. We turned over the bag and the paint and vinegar spilled everywhere {the blue color didn’t mix very well with the vinegar}.

Exploding Fireworks Painting - 4th Of July Craft for Kids

Exploding Fireworks Painting - 4th Of July Craft for Kids

Aiden also dripped paint from the bags. This produces smaller splatter spots that also look like fireworks.

Exploding Fireworks Painting - 4th Of July Craft for Kids

This was a fun, process-oriented art activity with the hope of producing a fireworks art piece. It turned out all right in the end. Aiden loves the process of painting. Check out more of our favorite ways to paint.

More Ways to Make Fireworks with Kids

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