Many preschools have moved away from celebrating Halloween and focus more on the harvest. This could be for many reasons. One, little kids get scared easily. Two, some feel that Halloween is devil worship. Three, some would rather error on the side of caution. Wherever you fall on the issue, here are some fun science experiments that can be done around Halloween that preschoolers love. You will have most of what you need for these experiments right in your home.
1. Screaming Cup
You will need: Plastic Party Cup, Paper Clip, Yarn, and Needle.
First, thread the needle with the yarn and poke the needle through the bottom of the cup. Pull it up some and remove the needle. Tie the paper clip to the yarn. Pull the yarn hanging out the bottom of the cup, bringing the paper clip to the bottom of the cup on the inside.
Now, how do you make the cup scream? Wet the yarn. Pinch the yarn with your forefinger and thumb. Slide your finger and thumb down the yarn. If you pinch too hard it will not let your finger move.
Science: The vibrations are created on the yarn by sliding your finger and thumb down the yarn. These vibrations move up the yarn and out the cup. The cup acts like an amplifier making the vibrations loud. The laughing of the children will probably be louder.
2. Self Expanding Balloon
You will need: Empty Soda Bottle, Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Balloon
Put some baking soda in the balloon. Put some vinegar in the soda bottle. Stretch the neck of the balloon over the neck of the soda bottle. Once you have it attached, lift the balloon and let the baking soda fall into the bottle. As the baking soda and vinegar interact, a chemical reaction, carbon dioxide is made. This gas will leave the bottle and expand the balloon.
3. Mystery pictures
You will need: Baking Soda, Water, Cotton Swabs, White Paper, Grape Juice, and Cotton Balls
Day one: Paint a mystery picture on the white paper using baking soda solution (3 tablespoons of baking soda to 3 tablespoons of water) with cotton swabs. Let the mystery picture dry overnight.
Day two: Paint the white paper with grape juice using cotton balls. Do not rub too hard. Where the baking soda solution is painted the paper will turn brown.
Science: Grape juice is an acid and baking soda is a base. When they come together there is an acid/base reaction and hydrogen atoms are exchanged turning the baking soda areas brown.
You can take these further into a Halloween theme by simply using Halloween props from your local dollar store.