How to Catch a Ghost – Ghostly Dry Ice Boo Bubbles

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Do you have amateur ghost hunters running amuck in your house? Or are you looking for a fun activity to do during a Halloween or classroom party?

Look no further than our Boo Bubbles experiment. Boo Bubbles are fog-filled touchable, bouncing bubbles. The bubbles actually trap vapor from a mixture of dry ice and warm water to make it look like ghosts are swimming inside. Look quickly – even though these bubbles are strong, the ghosts are sneaky and fast and will eventually escape.

I’ve taken my Boo Bubble generator into my daughters’ classrooms since they were both in kindergarten and I’ve also shared this activity during a Halloween science club last year. Boo Bubbles never fail to amaze, engage and keep the kids asking to “Do it Again!”

This activity works best with a ghostly story told first or a quick lesson on the properties of dry ice. Dry ice can be purchased at local grocery stores and I’ve also seen it at a few Walmarts. Bring gloves and a cooler with you to the store to protect your hands. You will want thick leather gloves and not cotton gloves for safety.

Here’s how to make your own Boo Bubble generator. You will need:

  • Two liter bottle
  • Dry ice (ask the front desk at your local grocers)
  • Heavy duty glove
  • Funnel
  • Rubber tubing
  • Dish soap
  • Utility blade (box cutter)
  • Small plastic portion cups (2 oz works best)
  • Towel
  • Bubble gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Adult supervision
Step by Step Instructions: 
  1. Use a utility blade (like a box cutter) to carefully cut the top off of the two liter bottle. Make sure the the hole in the top of the two liter bottle is not larger than the funnel you’ll be using.
  2. Attach a length of rubber tubing to the narrow end of the funnel by squeezing the funnel into the tubing.
  3. Use the utility blade to cut a hole in the bottom of a small plastic portion cup just large enough to fit the rubber tubing.
  4. Slide the end of the rubber tubing (not attached to the funnel) into the hole in the portion cup.
  5. Mix up a batch of your favorite bubble solution in a cup that is large enough to fit your portion cup. (View our recipe here.)
  6. Fill 1/6 of the two liter bottle with warm water and add in a few pieces of dry ice.
  7. Place the funnel over the hole in the two liter bottle. Awesome! The smoke comes pouring out of the tube! If you adjust how much of the hole is covered by the funnel, you’ll see a change in the pressure of the smoke coming from the tubing. Once you’ve figured out a comfortable pressure, remove the funnel.

  8. Dunk the portion cup into the bubble solution and cover the top of the bottle with the funnel and watch what happens!
  9. When the bubble reaches the perfect size, gently shake it off of the portion cup and it will quickly fall to the ground (it’s heavierthan a normal bubble because the bubble is filled with carbon dioxide gas and water vapor).
  10. When the bubble hits the ground, it bursts and the cloud of fog erupts from the bubble. The ghost escapes and you have to go capture another.
  11. Want your Boo Bubbles to last? Shake them onto a towel!

Touchable Boo Bubbles!

Purchase a pair of Bubble Gloves (100% cotton gloves also work well). Blow a Boo 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. Kids will go crazy for this activity. When I have done this in the classroom, I look out into a sea of gloved hands all ready for a bubble. They bounce it and show their friends. When it pops, the hand comes right back to me for another Boo Bubble. I love all of the looks of wonder and excitement on kids of all ages.

Boo Bubbles Generator

If you’d rather skip making your own and go straight to an all-in-one kit, check out our Boo Bubble Kit. It comes complete with a generator, dish soap and gloves. All you need to provide is the dry ice.

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