Pumpkin Volcano :: A Halloween Science Activity

Fall is such a fun season to celebrate with the family! All of us at Red Stick Mom know all about this excitement over the cooler months and all things fall related! From sharing our love about fall, fall recipes, and fall crafts, we are here to talk about it all! This pumpkin volcano is a fun spin on a fall tradition and great as a science activity!

The pumpkins are finally rolling into Louisiana. Pumpkin carving is a family fun activity we do every year during this month. Our first pumpkins never last until Halloween. This leaves us carving multiple pumpkins throughout the month: thank you Louisiana heat! If your kids are all about bubbly and overflowing fun, this activity will be a mom win while you are busy pumpkin carving this fall.

A pumpkin volcano

Most of us have done at least one basic volcano at school or at home. This is done with the mixture of baking soda and vinegar. When the two come into contact with each other, they react to form an overflowing bubbling mess. In this activity, we will be taking that same basic concept and applying it to our carved pumpkins!

Items you will need:

  • White Vinegar (about 1/2 cup)
  • Baking Soda (3-4 teaspoons)
  • Dish Soap (few drops)
  • Food Coloring (few drops)
  • Pumpkin for carving (pie pumpkins are great for this project!)

Time for some pumpkin fun!

The first step will be to carve the pumpkin. I bought a small pie pumpkin from Walmart. These are cheap and super easy to carve. I found that the size was also perfect for little hands. If you choose to use a larger pumpkin, you will need to at least double the amount of items needed in order to create enough bubbly to flow out of your pumpkin. Once you have the pumpkin carved and cleaned out, it is ready for the volcano part. cutting out the jack-o-lantern face

A little side note: this can get pretty messy. The weather was nice, so we did the ‘explosion’ on our patio. If you choose to do this activity indoors, place the pumpkin in a deep dish or pan. Add the 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda to the inside of the pumpkin, followed by the few drops of food coloring and dish soap. The next and last step is the ‘explosion.’ Slowly add the vinegar to the pumpkin and prepare to be amazed!

As mentioned earlier, the baking soda and vinegar react to form a bubbly overflow. The added dish soap makes it even more foamy. The foamy overflow will ooze out of the pumpkin’s face as well as the top. My kids were ecstatic to watch this happen! They could not wait to do it all over again. That is the best part about this activity. Once the volcanic activity is done, you can wash out the pumpkin and repeat for more fun!

adding the baking soda to the pumpkin pumpkin volcano_ adding the vinegar bubbling jack-o-lantern watching the pumpkin volcano explosion!

Happy pumpkin carving!

Clair is a former science teacher turned stay at home mommy to 3 kids, Ryleigh (6), Brady (5) and Chloe (1). She is originally from Mississippi and moved to Louisiana after meeting her husband at Mississippi College. She can’t imagine living anywhere else now. The culture here in Louisiana is the best: from the great food to cheering on the LSU Tigers. Her background in science has her loving to incorporate all things science while at home with her kids. This has led her to the world of blogging! Her blog, The Sprouting Minds, includes all things ‘mommy’ as well as those engaging kid activities. She hopes she can spread the love of science to other families as well as encourage mothers along the way.



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