Freaky Science Games and Activities for Halloween

If your child doesn’t respond too well to conventional science teaching, it’s time to make the subject more fun and relevant. Luckily, All Saints’ Eve is round the corner and it’s time for some science games! Get your little ghouls and ghosties excited about science as they prepare for the Halloween festivities. Here are some fun kids’ activities that double as super freaky science games for Halloween.

“Tonic” by Todd Huffman licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tonic” by Todd Huffman licensed under CC BY 2.0

Make a Glowing Drink

If you think gory is gorgeous, here’s a drinkable beverage you can proudly serve your trick-or-treaters. It’s a cool drink that glows when you shine a black light on it.

You will need

  • Tonic water
  • Drinking glass
  • Sprite OR any light-colored citrus drink

How to make it

  • Pour tonic water into the ice cube tray and freeze.
  • Pour the ice cubes into a glass of Sprite.
  • Shine the black light on it and voila!

How does it happen?

Tonic water contains quinine that glows blue when exposed to the ultraviolet rays emitted by black lights.

Foaming Pumpkin

Give your standard Jack-O-Lantern a miss this year and try these ghastly foaming-at-the-mouth pumpkins. Soooo sick!!

You will need

  • Carved pumpkin
  • Hydrogen peroxide (12%)
  • Food coloring
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Dry yeast
  • Small cup that fits inside the pumpkin
  • Small plastic cup
  • Warm water

How to make it

  • Fill the cup with 30 ml. hydrogen peroxide
  • Squirt some dish washing soap into it.
  • Add some food coloring for extra effect
  • Open the top of the carved pumpkin and lower the cup into it. (Make sure you don’t spill the contents inside!)
  • Now, pour an entire package of dry yeast into the plastic cup and mix it with warm water. Blend it until it reaches an even consistency – one that is neither too thick nor too thin.
  • Pour this yeast and warm water solution into the cup inside the pumpkin and replace the top quickly.
  • Your Jack-O-Lantern will start foaming at the mouth in a few moments!

How does it happen?

Hydrogen peroxide contains oxygen molecules that are released when you add the yeast solution to it. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2) and the oxygen turns into tiny bubbles as it passes through the liquid soap.

DIY Slime

Disgusting but fun, slime is easy to make and easy to wash off once you’re done playing. Now it’s time to make your own!

Ingredients

  • Elmer’s glue
  • Food coloring (any color)
  • 2 disposable plastic cups
  • Borax powder
  • Water
  • Plastic spoon
  • Tablespoon

How to make it

  • Fill one of the disposable cups with water, add a tablespoon of Borax powder to it and mix well.
  • Fill the other cup with an inch of Elmer’s glue, add 3 tablespoons of water and a few drops of food coloring to it and mix well.
  • Take one tablespoon of the Borax solution and pour it into the glue solution.
  • Your slime is ready for the fun!

What’s happening?

When you mix Borax with Elmer’s glue and water, you produce a putty-like substance that is known as a polymer. But unlike other polymers, this has the qualities of both a liquid and a solid – you can hold it in your hand like a solid but it can take the shape of its container like a liquid.

Freaky science can add a unique touch to your Halloween. Hope you have fun playing your science games!

The Psychological Benefits of Games

I have an obsession with infographics. I have tried to steer away from reblogging all the lovely ones I keep finding. I think I have managed quite well. On my list of resolutions this year, however, I had written “Design my own Infographic”. I slaved over it for months and months. They never tell you how hard it is to narrow down to a topic. I have felt like a prospective PhD student, ideating pitches.  After all that hair-pulling and day dreaming, I’ve finally finished.

Here is the finished product. Feel free to share and leave your feedback.

The Psychological Benefits of Games

A Picture Paints a 1000 Words

A lovely post from a dad blogger about picture books that got his daughter into sports! A must read for everyone trying to impress gender neutrality into their parenting.

NFL Fan Base

I often fret about the influence stereotypes have on my kids. There’s only so much you can do as a parent – only so much you can lecture, only so much you can protect. While your support and love towards them will always be unrelenting, the messages that society puts out are sometimes confidence shattering. There is a certain way you have to be, certain subject you have to study, and certain career paths you have to tread. We’re all proponents of equality across genders and sexes but there are some things that are so ingrained in us, we forget we are gender policing subconsciously.

Getting my little girl into sport was easy in the early days. We are an active family and so playing outdoors, having a casual game in the park is normal for us. She was a natural in whatever activity she picked up and I’m aware…

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Coming Up with a Winning Science Fair Project Idea

So your child is participating in the school science fair, and you’re now trying to help come up with science fair project ideas. Irrespective of whether your child was forced to take part in the science fair or even if science is a much-disliked subject, you can turn the situation around with a winning science fair project idea. Here are six tips to share with your child to ensure (s)he enjoys working on the project, learns a lot in the process and maybe even ends up with a prize!

"Science Fair, 09" by Rich Bowen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Science Fair, 09” by Rich Bowen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1. Begin Early

The science fair is a long way away, and you figure you have more than enough time to come up with a good science fair project idea and see it through to the end. Great! That’s no reason to put off starting on the project. You never know what complications may arise once you actually begin. Even the seemingly simple task of coming up with a good idea may take a lot more time than expected. The last thing you want is to find out that you have only one week left for the project, and an understandably limited choice of ideas to choose from. With more time in hand, you have the liberty of choosing a topic that truly interests you, spending enough time to do research and understand the topic in detail, and collecting the necessary information in a well thought-out and organized manner. And if you’ve got your eyes on the prize, each of these factors will help differentiate your project from the other good ones on display. Believe me, the judges can tell.

2. Choose a topic that really interests you

The right way to go about finding a good science fair project idea is to begin with your interests. Don’t read through a list of ideas and see whether any of them appeal to you. Rather, take some time to think about what kind of topics get you excited. It doesn’t even have to have a direct link to science. What things make you sit up and pay attention? Sports? Cats? Building things with your own hands? Narrow your list down to a few of your favorite topics and spend some time thinking about them. Most probably you will have to do some additional reading on the topic to come up with a question that interests you. The Google Idea Springboard is a great tool to help you out in this area. You’re likely to spend a few weeks if not months working on your project, so having a topic that you love will keep you interested till the end.

3. Come up with a good question that you can work with

A good science fair project idea begins with a good question. How do you define a good question? Firstly, it should not be a question that has already been answered by someone else. If you design a science fair project around the question ‘Which color light do plants grow best in?’, it is unlikely that you or anyone else will learn anything new from it. The experimental procedure and results for such a project can easily be found on the internet. Even if you do decide to do a project based on a science fair project idea you found online, make sure to change the question and ask something new so that you are experimenting and doing research on a slightly different area. Secondly, the question should truly interest you. Don’t adopt a question that someone else finds interesting or exciting. Use your ‘favorite topics’ list, spend time playing with different ideas in your head and only settle for a question that you would genuinely like to know the answer to. This interest will completely change the way you approach the project.

4. Consider the experimental procedure involved

Remember, while trying to settle on your science fair project idea, that you have to come up with a fool proof method for collecting data to answer your question. Consider the kind of time, energy and resources required to set up your experiment, and realistically evaluate whether it can be accomplished with what is available to you. Also check your experiment for any flaws. Is the data that you are collecting quantifiable? Is there any subjectivity involved? Have you considered and taken care of external factors that may affect your results? If you do not know the right answers to these questions, or how to design your experiment accordingly, you will need to spend some time understanding how to set up a scientific experiment.

5. Feel free to change your question based on your background research

It is entirely possible that as you go about collecting the information you need for your project, you realize that your question isn’t a very good one, or that you think of a better and more interesting one. Feel free to change your question according to your findings. This is where point #1 becomes even more important.

6. Make sure you understand all the concepts involved

Don’t worry about finding a topic that sounds highly complicated or scientific. In fact, the more simple your topic, the better you will be able to work with it. Nobody is expecting Ph.D. level research from you. More importantly, you will find the research and data collection far more difficult if you haven’t fully understood the topic yourself. Feel free to ask for help from an adult or the internet in order to learn more about the topic, but when it comes to the project, do all the thinking and analysis yourself. This will help you immensely when it comes to answering the judges’ questions about your project, and your in-depth understanding will show.

As long as you keep these tips in mind, you can be sure to come up with a science fair project idea that will win you over, impress your audience and maybe even tip the judges’ scales in your favor.

Playing and Learning With Straws

One of my favorite activities this week was one I chose to do with Raspberry Bug.


First, we started with brightly colored straws and a pair of safety scissors. We had fun as I guided her hand (she’s only two and a half and can’t do it on her own yet) and cut the straws into smaller pieces. It was funny; she giggled as the pieces hit the small bowl. At first, they were all closed up on the ends from being pinched by scissors. As they opened up, they “popped” and some flew rather far. An unexpected surprise, even for me!

Next, I pulled a shoestring out and showed her how to lace the “beads” we made on to make jewelry.


She had a great deal of focus and concentration on this one. I think it’s the first time she’s succeeded at being able to fit beads on all…

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Teaching The Value Of Money

Teaching money to kids is one of the most difficult things to do and yet if you start at a young age, you’re setting your child up for the development of all sorts of good habits. Here’s a really simple yet effective activity to give you that edge!

The Pinterested Parent

IMG_5417They say “Money can’t buy you happiness.” This may be true, but it sure can buy you a lot of things that make you happy. People love money. Even at an early age the love of money begins. My daughter may not comprehend the value of money, but she sure does know that she likes it. Whenever there is spare change lying around, her face lights up & she hoards it for her piggy bank.

Mai is in her “I want that” phase. We can barely leave the house without it. At the grocery store I hear it echoing down every aisle. “I want the Goldfish crackers.” “I want the funny juice box.” Alright, but you’re buying today. It is funny, she never does.

Children’s brands are clever. They advertise everywhere. Luckily, we do not watch much television that contains commercials, but those marketers find a way to sneak in a…

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Dear Madam Alien

I love your car. I wish that we had that kind of transport. Google maps could have a UFO option just next to its car, bus, train and stick man options. How cool would that be? Then we can holiday whenever we feel like it instead of only once or twice a year. I bet you have seen planets we haven’t discovered yet. Maybe when I grow up, I’ll be allowed to. I heard Pluto was a planet again. Were you happy about that?

I wonder if you look down on Earth and find us weird. I know I would. So many people wearing different types of clothes, working different kinds of jobs, talking different languages, believing different things. We fight all the time and we love all the time. If you watch us long enough, I know that you will love us. As strange as we are, we will grow on you.

For example, if you look down this month you will find us all wearing different costumes. You might wonder why people are walking around like skeletons and animals. You may wonder why little humans dressed as monsters go from door to door collecting sweeties that are obviously bad for them. When you come to visit, I will give you my collection of Mars and Galaxy Bars. I bet you will find that funny. I wonder if you have a Halloween in your planet. If they do, wouldn’t it be nice if they dressed up as humans?

Mum makes us give her ideas of family Halloween costumes at the end of September. I told her she and dad should be bread and the three of us can be bacon, lettuce and tomato. Have you had a sandwich? It’s one of the things that makes Earth special.

Robbie says aliens are actual super intelligent, time travelling humans. If that’s true, you already know why Earth is so great. But here it is, just in case you’ve forgotten.

Hope you will visit soon.

This is the post my DD wrote up for the blog. She has a journal where she practices her writing. One day when she was stuck for ideas, I told her to write a letter, as a prompt. She now writes letters to random people and the results are amazing, even if I am a bit biased myself! Hope you’ve enjoyed this experimental first post!