Hands-on Halloween Science

PumpkinI’m not sure if Halloween was better for me as a kid or right now as an adult… okay, it’s better now! It’s no secret that I make the most out of every Halloween – from the oozing slime at school to the ghoulish fun at home, Halloween is the perfect time to let your creativity out for an evening of fun.

I think it all started growing up in a family where my parents turned Halloween into a full fledged show. I learned not to bother my Dad after about two o’clock in the afternoon on Halloween because he was getting the entry way of our home ready for those poor unsuspecting Trick-or-Treaters. My favorite memory was getting to sit in his home-made electric chair – complete with blinking lights and giant sparks of static electricity coming from the metal hat. It was great! When the doorbell rang, it was showtime… and my job was to yell at the top of my lungs, “Hey Mister… all I wanted was a lousy piece of candy!” We never gave away much candy on Halloween – no one ever stuck around long enough to ask for candy, but lots of kids brought back their parents for the show. We always ended up with a house filled with people who loved Halloween as much as we did. I guess it just rubbed off on me… and now it’s my job to teach my three little boys the finer points of making Halloween fun.

Here are a few of our favorite Halloween science experiments…

Dry Ice Fun – Dry ice experiments and bubbling potions

Dry Ice Bubble – Make a dry ice crystal ball filled with smoke

Don’t miss the Exploding Pumpkins video

Note: The instructions for the Exploding Pumpkin are not available on this site for liability reasons. However, it is a favorite demo of chemistry teachers everywhere. If you want to do this demo, it’s time to make an appointment to visit your favorite chemistry teacher.

Real Slime! – Uncover the secret recipe for slime

Instant Worms – Make a batch of ooey gooey worms

Halloween Science Smoke Ring Launcher – Steve’s signature smoke ring trash can launcher

Elmer’s Glue Slime – The classic Borax and glue recipe

Bleeding Paper – This one is freaky!

Quicksand – This stuff feels like the real thing!

Screaming Cup – Make a weird, eerie sound using a cup and string

12 replies
  1. Michelle M.Pasquale
    Michelle M.Pasquale says:

    I an a high school science teacher and I would like to do the exploding pumpkin experiment with my chemistry classes for Halloween. We are in the midst of balancing chemical reactions and identifying types of chemical reactions. THis would be a perfect time to demonstrate a combustion reaction with chemicals in a fun way. Could you please let me know the ingredients for the pumpkin. THanks.

  2. Gordon Taff
    Gordon Taff says:

    I am curious about how you do the exploding pumpkin. I did a search on the site and only saw the video on the exploding pumpkin.

    Thanks ,

  3. Gina
    Gina says:

    Hi All, I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun we had at school with this kit. About 10 days before Halloween, I started the growing body parts. I placed them in the entry to the school and created a little note about the parts signed from the mad scientist! It was a great way to create a buzz about science. My students produce a bi-monthly television show, so Halloween was the perfect time to make slime and perform some science magic experiments. The show was great! On Halloween, I dressed up in the tye dye lab coat, a crazy wig, and my safety goggles to transform into the “mad scientist”. With the help of some dry ice, the entire school (kids ages 5 to 10) were transfixed by dry ice bubbles, screaming balloons, and slime! It was such a great day. Thanks, so much for super ideas and products. The kids had such a blast, but I think I had even more fun!

    Signed, Crazy for Science in Boise, Idaho

  4. Julie Gintzler
    Julie Gintzler says:

    Mrs. S – If you search for “exploding pumpkins” on our website, you’ll find a page that explains the reaction (in very general terms). As you know, we don’t put specific quantities on the website because we don’t want people to get hurt. I have to tell you that this is EXTREMELY dangerous. It is not our intent to be evasive, rather to protect the safety of those who use our site and are not trained in the usage of chemicals. The experiment starts with the carving of a Jack-O’Lantern and the build up of acetylene gas which is ignited. The truth is that there really is no exact recipe since each pumpkin is different and there’s always the chance that too much acetylene gas built up in the pumpkin will make the whole thing will explode! There is a set of chemical reference books called “Shakhasairi Chemical Demonstrations” series. This chemical text series is designed as a high level chemical demonstration text. You will find the full experiment details in these books.

  5. danyellstop
    danyellstop says:

    dear reader i hope u injoy the pumkin kit as much as i did. it is real fun. it was so cool to watch all the awesome scince fun happen before my very eyes. i got this for my two children and they and me loved it so much i got it for there cusins. it was a great kit and i know your children AND U will love it so dont be afriad be your own super star

  6. liliana
    liliana says:

    quiero una explicacion de xk la quimica tiene que ver con el halloween xk no encuentro una pagina en expecifica por favor gracias

  7. liliana
    liliana says:

    quiero informacion de el porque la quimica tiene que ver con el halloween ¿cual es su relacion? o algo en especifico que me pueda dar a entender el porque….


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