With Halloween just a couple short weeks away, I knew it was the right opportunity to dive right in with some great activities with my little one. It’s a time I look forward to each year, and this year is no exception. My two older children took great enjoyment and shared a few giggles as October rolled around and I prepared for one of my absolutely favorite activities of the year. They also didn’t stray far when they realized that I was working “the witches brew”, a science for Halloween activity.
Science for Halloween
In this science for Halloween experiment, watch the amazement in your child’s face as you use the ingredients from the classic volcano and add just a twist. It is amazing what one ingredient can do.
I have managed to enjoy this activity every year since I did this with my thirteen year old for the first time when she was just five years old. Each time, the sparkle in her eyes as we add the last ingredient and then see the reaction, was worth the clean up. Warning!!! This can get messy. I think that might be one of the reasons that it is so much fun!
- Large vase
- Food coloring
- Dish Soap
- Baking soda
- Optional: Halloween decorations and costumes to add to the fun
I wanted to create a mood so I decided to use some Halloween decorations to help with dramatic play and really engage my son in this activity. I told him that in order to get ready for Halloween, we needed to create a special witches brew to help the family enjoy the celebration and get into the spirit of the holiday. I’m not sure that he believed me, but he humoured me and went along with it anyway.
Usually, in any type of learning I set up for my children, I look to really have them be very hands-on. In order to really give them the full effect, I did some prep work before I brought my little one to the table. All ingredients were in plain plastic containers except the dish soap (I didn’t really have anything that would work the way I wanted).
In this science for Halloween experiment, I started with a vase a little more than half full of white vinegar. I told him that this was magic lake water. With his help, I added some special magic juice (food coloring), slime (dish soap), and pixie dust (glitter). Using a big wooden spoon, we gently mixed our potion. My son seemed to really enjoy that we actually had these things and couldn’t believe that we were actually using pixie dust!
The final step of our potion was to add the bones’ dust (baking soda). I really wanted to add enough of the baking soda to react with the vinegar and soap. With these with proportions, I added about half cup of baking soda, and…voila! We experienced the coolest reaction we had seen in any other science for Halloween activity ever. The dish soap added to the mixture made it super foamy.
I did take a moment to try to explain the science part of this activity to my son, and let him know why things happened this way. I explained that when you mix the baking soda with the vinegar, it produces a chemical reaction. This reaction makes carbon dioxide and this is what causes the eruption. I just wanted to give him a simple explanation to get him thinking.
I hadn’t planned on letting my little one explore the potion, but he was so excited! When he looked up and asked if he could touch the potion, I had to say yes. It is a wonderful sensory experience that he enjoyed so much.
As I mentioned, I do this activity every year just for fun with my family. It really made this time of year special to be able to do this activity with my youngest child.
It could have been a ghostly experience, but was really quite spooktacular!
Joanna is a full-time teacher and part-time mompreneur with a personalized and custom gift shop. She has a passion for writing and loves creating wonderful memories for her 3 beautiful children. As a huge fan of Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, Joanna lives by her biggest lesson: “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” You can find her on Facebook.
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