Acids & Bases

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In this activity, learners test the pH of safe liquids available at home by creating a pH indicator from mashed blueberries. Once learners are finished testing the pH of liquids, they can use their remaining blueberry indicator and paper towels to create homemade pH paper to test even more liquids. Activity includes detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures, optional extensions, discussion questions, and a section explaining the science behind the activity. SAFTEY NOTE: Never mix chemicals without researching their reactions. Some chemical reactions can produce harmful gases. Do not use ammonia or bleach for any chemistry experiments at home.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • ¼ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Fine mesh sieve or coffee filter
  • Bowl and fork (or mortar and pestle)
  • Mason jar or a wide drinking glass that can hold at least 1 cup of water
  • 3 ¼ cups of test liquid. Suggested liquids: distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, tap water, seltzer, baking soda solution, or dish detergent solution (Solution recipes are provided in the experiment instructions).
  • 4 clear containers (drinking glasses, plastic cups, etc.)
  • Eye dropper or straw
  • Paper and pencil
  • Sheet of paper towel (optional-extension activity)
  • Scissors (optional-extension activity)
  • Large flat pan or plate with a lip (optional-extension activity)
  • Cooling rack (optional-extension activity)
  • Sheet of white paper (optional-extension activity)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Family STEM Activity


  • All rights reserved, Museum of Science, Boston, 2021