One of the activities we had planned for Elodie’s Harry Potter Party, was ‘potion making’ but we ran out of time at the party, so we decided to try some potion making in pumpkins this week as a fun Autumn Pumpkin Science Activity! It was just simply Pumpkin Potions using the usual vinegar and bicarbonate of soda trick that we used in our Erupting Volcano Experiment – it never gets old! We made two pumpkin potions and the kiddos had plenty of fun making a ton of mess! We used mini pumpkins but equally you could use large pumpkins and carve them and then it would be fun to see the potion exploding out of the pumpkin’s eyes and mouth (O.K that’a a little ghoulish but it would be a good Halloween Activity!)
I love all the different types of pumpkins and squash that have been in the shops recently – we made a little pumpkin Autumnal display at home and then used the mini pumpkins for our potions. We scooped the pumpkin insides and seeds out (or as Finlay called it – ‘the Pumpkin guts!) Save the pumpkin guts and set them aside as you can use them in one of your Science experiments later!
Pumpkin Science Activity
Next, we filled small glass beakers with vinegar and stirred in some liquid soap colourant. The glass beakers are obviously optional and plastic would be safer – needless to say Archie was having a nap so we felt safe to use the glass beakers which make you feel like a proper Scientist! You could easily use food dye but we had some leftover soap colouring from making slime at Elodie’s party so we used that. Soap Colouring which can be found here is kinder on your hands and doesn’t stain as much as food dye does. The kiddos had fun mixing and colouring the vinegar to make it look like a real potion. Then we filled our pumpkins with bicarbonate of soda (or baking powder works too) we added around 4-5 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda into the pumpkin. Using some of these plastic pipettes, the kids dropped vinegar into the pumpkins until the potion fizzed and exploded out of the pumpkin! It took a while and I think using the pipettes built up the excitement a little more!
For the second experiment, we mixed some shaving foam with the ‘pumpkin seeds and pumpkin guts’ and some soap colourant and then added to the inside our pumpkins (we had to pour out the bubbling experiment first!) The Kids spent ages doing this – changing the colours and used their hands to scoop it in! It was pretty messy to say the least. Finlay spent ages spooning his mixture in and out of his pumpkin and then changing the colour – he was quite the little inventor! You could add any old kitchen ingredients or toiletry ingredients so the kids could mix up and create their own potions (the kids still talk about this outdoor kitchen cabinet leftover experiment!!)
It did keep the little people busy for at least a couple of hours – they stirred, mixed and poured their own potions happily like little chemists. A tip for the least mess would be to make the potions over a garden tray or tuff spot – this saved most of the mess from our table and then it was easily washed outside with the garden tap! You obviously wouldn’t need pumpkins – all you need is some mixing containers, colourant of some sort, powders and liquids to mix and you’ve got yourself a fun filled afternoon!
If you’d like some other Autumn Craft Ideas, have a gander at these…….
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