Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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Bubbling Pumpkin Science Experiments

Bubbles, science experiments, dry ice, and pumpkins! What more could you ask for in a science projct for the fall?!!

We start doing pumpkin and Halloween science experiments as soon as we can--and the pumpkins usually show up in grocery stores towards the end of September!

This awesome set of experiments also features dry ice, another favorite science tool around here. (Check out our collection of dry ice experiments here!) More on the dry ice in a moment!


* 1 carved pumpkin
* 1 cleaned, but not carved pumpkin (optional)
* small cup
* warm water
* dry ice
* dry ice gloves or tongs
* tea candle or two
* liquid dish soap

Anyway, to get started clean your pumpkin and carve a face. We named ours Bob.

HINT: Leave about 3 inches below your face so you have room for a container of dry ice and a candle for your experiments.

HINT 2: Make sure your opening at the top is wide enough to easily get your hand and a small cup inside. ;)


Light, Candles, Fire, and Air:

Place a small candle or two inside the pumpkin and light it. If you have a hollowed out, but not carved pumpkin to compare to, that is AWESOME!

Discuss how the light from the candle travels out the face of the pumpkin. Put the lids on both pumpkins, and wait about a minute (depending on the size of your pumpkins). Does anything happen in the carved pumpkin? What about the uncarved pumpkin? (The candle in the uncarved pumpkin should go out because the flame burns all the oxygen available in the pumpkin.)

Now place a piece of dry ice next to the burning candle in the carved pumpkin. What happened!! Discuss why. (The candle should go out because the dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. At room temperature, dry ice sublimates, or goes directly from a solid to a gas. The gas (carbon dioxide) is heavier than oxygen, so it pushes the oygen up and away from the candle. As the carbon dioxide surrounds the flame, the candle goes out.)


Dry Ice ~ Carbon Dioxide

Remove the candle and make sure the dry ice is in a small bowl or shallow cup. Do not touch the ice directly. Use either tongs or dry ice gloves. Add a little warm water to the bowl or cup, and replace the lid on the pumpkin! What happens?!!

The dry ice should sublimate more quickly in the warm water, and you should have a nice cloud come pouring out the mouth of your pumpkin!

Go ahead and let everyone touch the "smoke." How does it feel? Is it warm or cold? What happens to it?

Experiment with adding more water and more ice.


Now it's time for fun with bubbles!

Squirt some dish soap in your bowl/cup and make sure it is aimed towards the mouth (otherwise, you will just fill your pumpkin with bubbles!). You may also want to add more dry ice and warm water. What happened?!!

The gaseous carbon dioxide is like blowing bubbles into a bowl of soapy water. The bubbles rise up and spill out whereever they fit! (For another really awesome, hands-on bubbly pumpkin experiment, click here!)

Go ahead and try other science experiments with your supplies and see what you can discover! Always treat dry ice carefully, and never touch it directly! Have fun with your science projects!

Do you love Halloween and Pumpkin season?!! If so, I have some fantastic resources for you here:


Aaaand some of my blogging friends and I have joined together to bring you some amazing hands-on Halloween science activities! Check these out:

Fluffy Zombie Slime from Little Bins for Little Hands will thrill all your little zombie-hunters!

Discover the craziness behind Halloween candy with this Halloween Peeps Experiment at JDaniel 4's Mom!

Discovering a Pumpkin: STEM Investigation from Share it! Science is perfect for the little people in your life! Set it up for a preschool science station!

Halloween Fun:  Spider Science Activities for Kids from Growing With Science goes great with our annual Spider Theme in October!

Halloween Ghost Balloons at Mama Smiles is a classic experiment everyone should try!

Halloween Science: Static Electricity Ghosts from The Homeschool Scientist are a great way to tie Chemistry into the Halloween science fun!

Bubbling Pumpkin Experiments is right here at Preschool Powol Packets!

Halloween Robot Spider Craft at Inspiration Laboratories is another great addition to a preschool spider theme!

Halloween Rock Painting for Kids using Physics From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom ties in the rock painting trend with science and Halloween!

Make a Happy Halloween Stained Glass Window with this fantastic method from Witty Hoots!

Edible Candy Corn Slime from Teach Beside Me is a kind of cooking science sensory adventure!

Do you have a favorite fall or Halloween science project? I'd love to hear about!! Feel free to send me an email, leave a comment about your science experiments, or drop by my Preschool Powol Packets Facebook page and say Hi!

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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JDaniel4's Mom said...

These experiments are super cool! Kids will love watching their pumpkins send forth smoke and bubbles.