Ghost Balloons {Halloween Activity for Kids}

The kids participated in a fun STEAM program at our local library today.  STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.  The program started with the librarian reading aloud Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet.

It is a great book the told about the inventor of the amazingly giant balloons that float overhead in the Macy's parade and how they are actually like upside down puppets.

Hmm, but what could balloons have to do with the baking soda and vinegar we see on the table?? 

After the story, the kids watched a video from How It's Made to learn how latex balloons are made.   It is so cool to learn all that goes into making such a simple little balloon.

Then it was time for the kids to make Ghost Balloons!  First you draw a scary face on a white balloon then use a funnel to pour 2 Tablespoons baking soda into the balloon.   Our librarian had already filled the balloons with baking soda before the class so she temporarily sealed them with painter's tape so the kids could draw on them and not spill all of the baking soda out.  If you do this at home, just draw the face on the balloon before you fill it.

Then you fill an empty plastic water bottle with 1/2 cup of vinegar.  Keep the balloon hanging down to keep the baking soda in the balloon and carefully slide the lip of the balloon on to the water bottle.  Once the balloon is securely on the bottle, lift the balloon and let all of the baking soda fall down into the bottle.

The baking soda (solid - base) will mix with the vinegar (liquid - acid) to create a carbon dioxide (gas).  The gas rises and fills the balloon with CO2 and your ghost suddenly appears!

We've done experiments (and free play) with baking soda and vinegar but this one was new for the kids.

It was a great program and a fun way to play with science.  We love our library!

If you are looking for some more Halloween fun, visit the Flower Mound Library on Wednesday, October 29th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm for their Haunted Library!  Kids K-5 can come in costume and trick or treat through a library tour then have fun with games and crafts at their mini-carnival.  The event is free but you will have to have a ticket to attend.  Tickets can be obtained at the Youth Services desk on the morning of the event starting at 9:00 am. 

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