Magic Jack-O-Lantern

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This is a super-fun Halloween twist on our Fizzy Balloons experiment.  It has been quite a while since we have done this experiment, so the boys had a great time watching the chemical reaction “magically” inflate the Jack-O-Lantern balloon.  With a little prep work, this would even make a fun center activity for a Fall party at home or school!

(See similar ideas over at Mama Smiles and Bitz n Giggles


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Here’s what you’ll need:  recycled water bottles, vinegar, baking soda, a funnel, and Jack-O-Lantern balloons.

Do NOT, I repeat do not, attempt to use a Sharpie marker to make your own Jack-O-Lantern balloons…you will end up with Sharpie all over the surfaces that the balloon will inevitably touch, trust me.  Apparently “permanent” marker on a balloon is not actually so permanent after all.  Go to your nearest party store or order these.  :)


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 Use the funnel to fill the recycled water bottle about 1/4 of the way full.


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Rinse and dry the funnel and then add baking soda into the balloon.  I didn’t measure, but it most likely was around a tablespoon or two.


The “laboratory” test…

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Place the lip of the balloon over the top of the bottle, with the contents of the balloon hanging loosely.


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Lift the balloon so that it is straight above the bottle and the baking soda falls down into the vinegar in the bottle.


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The chemical reaction will begin to inflate the balloon!


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And now for the real test…


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Big Brother is meticulously following directions and lifting the balloon straight up over the top of the bottle.

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Whoa…he wasn’t expecting that!

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I love the faces I captured on camera…his love for life will never cease to amaze me!

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Little Brother was much more concerned with the end result (i.e. the balloon that he could keep forever…until it pops on a blade of grass, that is).  :)

The Science Behind It:  When the baking soda and vinegar mix, it creates a chemical reaction.  We know this because we see bubbles.  This chemical reaction gives off a gas which inflates the balloon.

Check out more fun science experiments here.

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