Alright STEM Sparkers, you knew I couldn't pass up one last chance to squeeze in some STEAM fun before Halloween! Disappearing Ghosts is an easy science experiment to do with all ages of kids-- it took us only 2 minutes to set up and 2 minutes to clean up. If you're having a Halloween gathering with kids, and you have biodegradable packing peanuts on hand, Disappearing Ghosts is a must for your gathering!
Bowl of Water
Biodegradable Packing Peanuts (must be biodegradable)
1) Draw a ghostly face on the packing peanut using the Sharpie.
2) Place the ghost packing peanut in the bowl of water.
3) Watch the ghost disappear (aka dissolve).
So why do the ghost packing peanuts disappear? Well if you've used the biodegradable packing peanuts, they're made of corn starch, and corn starch dissolves in water. In fact something that dissolves in water is called a soluble. Ask the kids in your gathering what else is a soluble? Then if you have time, you can test their hypotheses of what is (or isn't) a soluble by placing more items in the bowl of water.
Another fun twist on the Disappearing Ghost science experiment is to set a stop watch-- have kids predict how long it will take for the ghost packing peanut to disappear. Jack and I found that it took our ghost packing peanuts took 14 minutes to dissolve (although we did walk away for a couple of those minutes, so it might have been less time). Let us know in the comments how long it takes for your ghosts to disappear, and of course Happy STEAM-o-ween!
Shout out to There's Just One Mommy blog, for which we first saw this experiment. Don't forget to check out STEM Spark's other Halloween STEAM activities, like Dancing Ghost, Lego Ghost, Hydro Dipped Pumpkin, and a Counting Candy Worksheet.