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Contests / Creative Corner / Holidays

Bubbling, Burping Halloween Science – Win an Ultimate Dry Ice Kit

It’s almost October and my favorite time of year is just around the corner…Halloween. I can do without the gore, the tombstones, the skeletons, but I love making bubbling, smoky concoctions. That makes me the most popular room mom in the school.

If you are looking for the perfect Halloween kit to share with your kids’ teachers and bring into the classroom, the new Ultimate Dry Ice Kit is for you.

This kit will teach the different phases of water, carbon dioxide, chemistry and a little bit about sublimation.

Zzzz. Are you bored? This kit will get the kids excited and begging to get up close. I’ve experienced shouts of, “Me too! do it to me!” and “Can I do it again and again?”

The kit also comes with a 10-page activity guide that will step you through each experiment to make you a Halloween science expert.

My dry ice science antics are so popular around the school that I’ve been asked to run a science club after school for the PTA. This kit is infectious. It brings out the kid in everyone. I get parents, teachers and other school staff stopping by to play with the bubbling potions.

How do you bring this mad scientist laboratory to your home and school? You can win one by entering below. Or come visit for even more Halloween science. Many experiments use only materials found around your house.

If you aren’t interested in being your school’s mad scientist mom, give the kit to your children’s teacher. They will appreciate it.

Dry ice is not frozen water – it’s frozen carbon dioxide. Unlike most solids, dry ice does not melt into a liquid, but instead changes directly into a gas. This process is called sublimation.

The following science experiments and activities require adult supervision. Dry ice is fun and safe to use if all of the safety precautions are followed. Treat dry ice with respect, always wear gloves and use tongs to prevent injury. It will cause severe burns if it comes in contact with your skin. Don’t store dry ice in an airtight container. As the dry ice turns from solid to gas, the gas will build up and the container will explode.

One of the most common questions I get is where can I buy dry ice? First, don’t buy dry ice until right before you are ready to use it. It quickly sublimates and will be completely gone in less than 24-48 hours. Check for dry ice at your local grocery store. In Denver, many King Soopers sell dry ice but you must be over 21. Ask your local grocer if they sell it or look online for a list of suppliers.

You have the dry ice, the gloves and the excitement, now what?

Here is a sample of some of the experiments you can do with the kit. You do not have to purchase the kit to do these experiments, the kit is offered for those who like one stop shopping. The kit includes all of the materials you will need minus the dry ice.

Popping Film Canisters

An easy way to demonstrate how dry ice turns from a solid to a gas is to use a film canister. Put on your safety glasses and gloves. Take a small piece of dry ice and place it into the canister. Do not add water. Seal the lid on the top and STAND BACK. The film canister lid will pop off as the gas builds up. Try it again but add water this time.

Burping, Bubbling, Smoking Water – How to Make Fog

The easiest and most common use for dry ice at Halloween is to make a spooky, bubbling potion. It’s truly as simple as filling a container with water and adding a few pieces of dry ice. However, by understanding the science behind all of this fog, you’ll be able to create a number of cool variations.

In an ordinary glass… Use the tongs or gloves to place a piece of dry ice in a glass of warm water. Immediately the dry ice will begin to turn into carbon dioxide gas and water vapor, forming a really cool cloud. This cloud is perfectly safe for you to touch and feel as long as you are careful not to reach into the water and accidentally touch the dry ice.

In a graduated cylinder… Fill one of the plastic graduated cylinders half full with warm water and a few pieces of dry ice. Here’s the best part… notice how children can hold onto the bubbling container but they can’t reach down into the cylinder to touch the dry ice! This is a great way for you to pass around the bubbling concoction without fear of the kids coming in contact with the dry ice.

Smoking Bubbles

Who would have guessed that you could have this much fun with soapy water and a chunk of dry ice? Fill a plastic cylinder halfway with warm water and add a squirt of liquid dish soap like Dawn or Joy. Use gloves or tongs to place a piece of dry ice into the soapy water.

Instead of the dry ice just bubbling in the water to make a cloud, the soap in the water traps the carbon dioxide and water vapor in the form of a bubble. The bubbles climb out of the cylinder of warm, soapy water and explode with a burst of misty fog as they crawl over the edge. This activity gets wet and messy, so make sure you are doing this activity in a sink or on a surface that you don’t mind getting wet.


Mile High Mamas is giving away an Ultimate Dry Ice Kit from Steve Spangler Science. Please go here to enter. Contest deadline: October 12, 2011.

Susan Wells
Author: Susan Wells

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