Bready Bubble Balloon

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
Learners discover the bubble power of living cells in this multi-hour experiment with baker's yeast. Learners make a living yeast/water solution in a bottle, and add table sugar to feed the yeast. As the yeast breaks down the sugar into simpler molecules, carbon dioxide is released. As the carbon dioxide bubbles up in the bottle, the gas expands a balloon that has been fitted over the bottle's opening.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
4 to 24 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Packet of active dry yeast
  • Table sugar (a few tablespoons)
  • Plain warm water (NOT HOT!)
  • Balloon (not inflated)
  • Empty, clean plastic drink bottle with narrow opening


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Protists and Fungi
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Gases

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 2009