vintage ghost Halloween is a perfect time to do some spooky science! Here are a few experiments you can do at home with tissues, a pop bottle and some leftover candy.

Packing Peanut Vanishing Ghosts

What do you do with leftover packing peanuts? Well, if they’re the biodegradable ones try this!

What You Need:

  • Biodegradable Packing Peanuts (like these)
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Small Bowl
  • Water

packing peanut ghost 2

What You Do

  1. Use a black permanent marker to draw a ghost face on each packing peanut.  Remember, they MUST be biodegradable packing peanuts. (That means they are made of starch, not polystyrene.)
  2. Now it’s time to make those ghosts vanish with a bit of science “magic.”
  3. Fill a small bowl with warm water.
  4. Place one ghost on top and watch what happens.
  5. You will start to see small bubbles appearing on the sides of the packing peanut ghost.  And then the ghost will disappear right before your eyes!

What’s Going On?

The peanuts are made from starch so they dissolve in water.

 

 

Two Ways to Launch a Ghost

Check in the bathroom for the items you need for these ghosts. Blow driers, tissues and toilet paper holders are the treats you need for these tricks.

Toilet Paper holder launcher

What You need

  • The spring loaded center to the toilet paper holder
  • a mini paper cup
  • tape
  • tissue
  • sharpie

What You Do

  1. Make your ghost by taping a tissue to a flipped-over paper cup. Draw a face with a sharpie.
  2. Take your spring-loaded tube and squeeze it short.
  3. Place the inside of the ghost–the opening of the cup–over the spring-loaded tube.
  4. Hold the bottom part of the tube and let the top part go.
  5. Blast off!

TP ghost 2

What’s Going on?

It’s a great big transfer of energy from the potential energy of the spring-loaded tube to the kinetic energy of the flying ghost. Newton would be so proud.

 

Ping Pong Ball Ghost

ping pong ghostThis one you have to see to believe.

What you need

  • a ping-pong ball
  • a blow dryer

What You Do

  1. Hold your blow dryer so the nozzle is pointing up. Turn it on high.
  2. Place your Ping-Pong ball about 6 inches above the nozzle and let go.
  3. It floats!

What’s Going On?

The ball stays in mid air because of a principle called the Bernoulli Principle. Air molecules are rushing past the bottom of the ball faster than they are on the top so the weight of the atmosphere pushes down on the ball and keeps it in line.