How to Make Ghostly Dry Ice Bubbles and a Dry Ice Crystal Ball
posted by: Susan Wells
Bubbles are fun anytime. Fog is a necessity for spooky Halloween effects. What if you combine them and make smoke filled bubbles? Then bounce and play with the super bubbles and you will be the hit of your Halloween party.
Touchable Boo Bubbles
- Two liter bottle
- Dry ice (ask the front desk at your local grocers)
- Heavy-duty glove
- Strip of cotton fabric
- Rubber tubing
- Dish soap
- Utility blade (box cutter)
- Small plastic portion cups (2 oz works best)
- Bubble gloves
- Safety glasses
- Adult supervision
Dip the free end of the rubber tubing into the bubble solution to wet the end of the tube. Remove the tube from the bubble solution with one hand while covering the jar with the lid in the other hand. This will take a little practice, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. The goal is to blow a bubble filled with fog. When the bubble reaches the perfect size, gently shake it off of the tubing and it will quickly fall to the ground (it’s heavier than a normal bubble because the bubble is filled with carbon dioxide gas and water vapor). When the bubble hits the ground, it bursts and the cloud of fog erupts from the bubble.
Purchase a pair of inexpensive children’s gloves from your local department store (100% cotton gloves also work well). Blow a bubble about the size of a baseball.
Bounce the bubble off of your gloves. Try bouncing the bubble off of your shirt or pants. As you’ll soon see, some fabrics work better than others. Try bouncing bubbles on a hand towel.
For more information on how to make Boo Bubbles, watch this video.
Dry Ice Crystal Ball
For your Halloween science dry ice extravaganza finale, you have to make a Crystal Ball Bubble. Create a soap film on the rim of a bucket. As the bubble expands, it fills with water vapor and carbon dioxide. When the giant bubble bursts, the cloud of “smoke” falls to the floor. This, like the Boo Bubbles, will take some practice to perfect.
Select a bucket or container that has a smooth rim and is smaller than 12 inches in diameter. Cut a strip of cloth about 1 inch wide and 18 inches long. An old t-shirt, strip of cloth or a fat shoelace works well.
Soak the cloth in a solution of Dawn dish soap or use your favorite recipe for making bubble solution. Make sure that the cloth is completely soaked. Fill the bucket half full with water. Have tongs or gloves ready to transfer the dry ice to the bucket.
Place two or three pieces of dry ice into the water so that a good amount of fog is being produced. Remove the strip of cloth from the dish soap and carefully pull the strip across the rim. The goal is to create a soap film that covers the top.
It also helps to have the rim wet before you start. This may take some practice until you get the technique mastered. Remember that a bubble’s worst enemies are dirt, oil, and rough edges. Your patience will pay off in the long run.
If you accidentally get soap in the bucket of water, you’ll notice that zillions of bubbles filled with fog will start to emerge from the bucket. This, too, produces a great effect. If you want to go back to making Crystal Ball Bubbles, you will need to dump the water, clean the bowl and start over.
Place a waterproof flashlight in the bucket along with the dry ice so that the light shines up through the fog. Draw the cloth across the rim to create the soap film lid and turn off the room lights. The crystal bubbles will emit an eerie glow and you’ll be able to see the fog churning inside the transparent bubble walls. Take your bows as the audience erupts in a chorus of ooohs & ahhhs!
For more information and to watch a how to video, check out the Steve Spangler Science website.
Guest blogger Susan Wells is the mom to two girls. She enjoys enriching her daughter’s education by finding the learning in everything. They especially enjoy science activities. She works as a blogger and social media strategist for Steve Spangler Science, a Colorado company dedicated to helping teachers and parents get children excited about science.