6 Spooky Science Experiments for Halloween
As classroom parents plan Halloween party activities to occupy the time between the school parade and the night’s sugar rush, it’s a great time to sneak in some wonderfully spooky science experiments that will allow kids of all ages to learn a little science before diving into the afternoon’s treats. Here are six easy experiments that will dazzle kids of all ages and are pretty easy to prepare.
Serve misty punch. A chunk of dry ice in a big punch bowl allows the room to be overtaken by a creeping fog. Show elementary aged kids the dry ice before it’s immersed in the liquid and talk about why it’s called dry ice. Hint: DryIceNetwork.com says that the substance is really frozen carbon dioxide. “It is called dry ice because it resembles water in many ways…but when it sublimates [when a solid or gas changes state without becoming a liquid], it turns to gas instead of liquid.” Save another chunk of dry ice for Halloween night and add it to your jack-o-lantern after lighting the candle to make some spooky fog.
Create a Halloween feel box to invigorate their senses. Get a large bowl and add a package of wet gummy worms, wet spaghetti coated in oil, and peeled grapes. Place it inside a box where you’ve cut a hole big enough for a little arm to slide inside and let early elementary ages, preschoolers, and toddlers try to guess the real foods inside your slimy bowl. It’s a fun idea that allows children to make observations based only on touch. About.com Family Crafts has more ideas for household items to place inside the feel box.
Make ghosts and bats dance with static electricity. Balloons, tissue paper, markers, scissors, tape, and your sweater or hair are all you need to make fun Halloween shapes float around thanks to static electricity. How do you do it and why does it work? Visit Inspiration Laboratories for the full instructions and explanation.
Write and reveal secret messages with Goldenrod bleeding paper. According to the American Chemical Society, “Goldenrod paper turns bright red when exposed to basic solutions, like ammonia water. Spray some ammonia-water solution on your hand to make a bloody hand print.” For full directions, visit Steve Spangler Science for directions and why this is a very cool experiment, especially if you’re short on time. Ammonia water is safe for kids. Just make sure that they wash their hands after being sprayed.
Concoct some glowing bubbling brew. Did you know that a diluted yellow highlighter will glow under a black light? Have kids make a prediction about what will happen when you turn on a black light and turn off the overhead light. Also make them guess what will happen when you mix the yellow highlighter water (aka glow water) with vinegar and then pour it over some baking soda. For some great photos of what this experiment looks like, visit Play at Home Mom.
Test the density of candy with a simple sink and float test. Once Halloween has come and gone and you’re left with the candy that hasn’t been eaten, it makes for great science experiments. CandyExperiments.com has tons of great candy experiments but a really simple one is the sink/float test. Visit the site to learn why some candies float while others sink!
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