Make an Exploding Pumpkin

What You Need:

  • One small pumpkin
  • Pumpkin carving equipment (e.g., knife, spoon, etc.)
  • Black permanent marker
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring


What You Do:

  1. Design a basic pumpkin face for your pumpkin (for younger kids you can provide them with an outline or some basic shapes to trace with support).
  2. Carve your face onto the pumpkin (older kids can carve with support, and younger kids can help scoop out the pumpkin guts).
  3. Help your child measure five tablespoons of baking powder and add it to the bottom of their pumpkin.
  4. Choose a color and place 2–4 drops of food coloring on top of the baking powder.
  5. Fill a small measuring cup (½ cup works well) with vinegar and instruct your child to pour it on top of the baking powder.
  6. Watch as your pumpkin explodes!

Extensions: Use the same directions above and have your child experiment with different colors, adding glitter, more or less vinegar and baking soda, or by using a hollowed out pumpkin to see how their explosion changes. Encourage your child to record their findings by drawing pictures or writing a sentence. Your scientist will love this fun Halloween science activity!

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