Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day 3 of 13 Days of Halloween 2017

Expanding Ghosts

with the Classic Vinegar and Baking Soda Reaction.

A chemical reaction happens when a new substance or substances are created.  Chemical bonds in the original compounds are broken and new chemical bonds are created.  One of the first chemical reactions kids encounter is the classic vinegar and baking soda.  Vinegar contains acetic acid, which by its name is acidic.  Baking soda is known as sodium bicarbonate and is a base.  When the two are put together they react. The new substances formed are water, sodium acetate (a salt), and carbon dioxide gas.   The bubbles created are carbon dioxide gas escaping.

It is lots of fun to catch the gas into a balloon.  We can do a twist on this for Halloween.  Follow the directions carefully below and have lots of fun.


16oz. Empty water bottle
Baking soda
Lemon Juice
12 inch balloon (white for ghost,  green for monster, orange for pumpkin)
Permanent marker
Measure cups or graduated cylinder
Safety goggles


1.  Draw a ghost face on your balloon using the permanent marker.  You may want to blow up the balloon a little and draw it while it is blown up.  It will look a little better.  Let the permanent marker dry.

2.  Pour 20ml of baking soda into the balloon.  If this is difficult use a funnel.  Set the balloon aside.

3.  Pour 60ml of vinegar into the water bottle.

4.  Carefully place the balloon on top of the bottle.  Don't let the baking soda go into the bottle yet.

5.  Lift up the balloon and shake the baking soda into the bottle.  Get ready for the reaction.


Try lemon juice instead.
Use other colored balloons and make them look like monsters, Frankenstein, and jack-o-lanterns.
Use a larger bottle or larger balloon and see what happens.
Measure the circumference of the balloon to see if there are changes.


Always wear safety goggles.  The goal is to not cause the balloon to pop.
Test the experiment before performing with students.  You want to make sure the amounts are correct.
If using a small balloon use less vinegar and baking soda.  If using a larger balloon you may need more vinegar and baking soda.
Take it a step further and turn it into an investigation.

13 Days of Halloween Deal of the Day  

Free Investigation Today


  1. Love the expanding ghosts activity! Such a fun spin on a classic science experiment! Looking forward to seeing what other great ideas you share!

    1. Thanks so much. I have lots more to come. This would be fun for a classroom party. Happy Halloween.

  2. This is so cool! You have awesome activities that I KNOW students would love and talk about for years to come!