How to Create a Mad Scientist Laboratory for a Classroom Halloween Party
By: Guest Blogger, Susan Wells of Steve Spangler Science
I love this time of year. Crisp, cool mornings, colorful leaves on the trees and time to plan the classroom Halloween party. I sign up to be a room mom or at least support the room mom every year because it is fun, rewarding and the kids and teachers appreciate it.
So you’re a room mom and it’s time to plan the Halloween party…now what? What should you do to keep the kids entertained? Here are a few ideas to throw the best Halloween school party that everyone will love.
This activity is always a hit and will work as a craft. You will need:
1. Mini pumpkins (one for each child) usually found at grocery stores
2. Elmer’s glue
3. Glow Powder
4. Cheap paint brushes
5. Construction paper or tissue paper
6. Google eyes
7. Pipe cleaners
Mix the glow powder in with the Elmer’s glue. Paint the pumpkin with the glow glue. Stick eyes, shapes and pipe cleaners into the glue to decorate the pumpkin.
Glow Powder works by absorbing surrounding light energy and then releasing that energy when the lights go out; it's called a phosphorescent powder. This is obviously a seasonal project so pumpkins should not be put away with the decorations for next year. If you want an heirloom craft project, use the glow powder glue to decorate trick or treat bags or plastic pumpkins. Get creative!
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While you have the black lights out, why not make the Halloween punch bubble and glow? Drop a few pieces of dry ice into the punch and wait for them to fully disappear - the punch will become a bubbling, smoking concoction. When the dry ice is completely gone, the punch will be carbonated. For extra fun, freeze tonic water in an ice cube tray and add to the punch. Turn out the overhead lights and turn on the black lights. While your punch is bubbling and burping, the ice cubes will glow.
Tonic water glows under black light because it contains quinine, a chemical that was originally added to tonic water to help fight off malaria in places like India and Africa. While the tonic water we drink today only contains a small amount of quinine, it's still enough to make your drink glow under black light.
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Decorate the classroom with test tubes filled with different colored water or add plastic bugs and other Halloween trinkets to the water for even more fun. If you have some cylinders, fill them a little more than halfway with warm wate,r then add dry ice. They will bubble and burp just like your punch. Just make sure to wear heavy-duty gloves when handling dry ice and do not let the children touch it. To step it up even more, add a few drops of Dawn dish soap to the water and watch the bubbles overflow. Just make sure to have the cylinders inside a tray or something to catch the overflow. Add a few cobwebs and plastic spiders and you have a very cool mad scientist laboratory.
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It isn’t a Halloween party without slime! Slime comes in several varieties…green, clear, glowing atomic and homemade. You can purchase slime online along with cups and a mixing kit or make your own by mixing Elmer’s glue and borax together in a bowl. Visit us at SteveSpanglerScience.com for step-by-step directions. To step it up even more, add Styrofoam balls or plastic bugs into the slime.
Throw in a few cute spider cookies or ghost marshmallows and you will be room mom of the year! Just beware – the teachers will request your services again next year.
For more information and Halloween party ideas visit SteveSpanglerScience.com
Susan Wells is a native Colorado mom to two girls, ages 6 and 10. She loves to volunteer at her daughter’s school as room mom, science club teacher and classroom helper. She looks for the learning in everything. In past lives, Susan has been a symphony bassist, sound engineer, news web producer and web developer. She currently works for Steve Spangler Science in web marketing, social media and blogging and blogs at TwoHandsTwoFeet.com.