A Happy Scientist Costume

This year my older kids chose a profession for their Halloween costumes; one will be an astronaut and the other a policeman. Of course my youngest is still too young to have an opinion but I thought, “Hey, it may be my one of my last years to get to choose her costume so why not make her a scientist!”

But when I searched for DIY girl scientist costumes this is what I found – mad ones. What is to be mad about on Halloween? Why not make science just a tad bit sunnier? So I tweaked these Michael’s costume instructions to make my littlest scientist a happy one. 


What you need: 

  • Tie dyed t-shirt  (about two times bigger than normal size): I found mine here
  • Pink duct tape
  • A black sharpie marker
  • Safety glasses: These are old ones that we have but you can also buy safety glasses at Walmart or LakeShore Learning.
  • Plastic beaker

How you do it: I followed Michael’s tutorial here for turning a tshirt into a labcoat but substituted the white shirt for a tie-dyed one!  Easy-peasy!

Who says being a scientist means going mad and having crazy hair. Let’s have happy adorable scientists who can experiment AND rock the tie dyed lab coat!

I hope you are having as much fun as we are getting ready for Halloween!

Categories: science art Tags: , ,
Screeching Ghost Balloons 

Is it just me or when stores cleared their back to school items in late August then Halloween decorations were put in their place?  Stores have wanted us to feel like it’s fall but it’s even hard for me to drink a pumpkin spice latte when it’s still 90°F outside.

I do LOVE the fall especially because my youngest has her birthday around Halloween so I always have my eyes peeled for cute party decor and Halloween games with a science twist of course!

I recently saw this experiment on Steve Spangler and thought what a great Halloween science activity! All you have to do is draw a cute little ghost on the balloon and you’ve got a real haunted house sound! And of course my youngest really got the hang of it!

What you need: a white balloon, a black permanent marker, and a hex nut


 What you do:

  1. Place hex nut in balloon
  2. Blow up balloon and tie
  3. Draw a ghostly figure
  4. Twirl the balloon around until the hex nuts spin on the inside

Warning: Depending on the age of the hex nut it could cause the balloon to pop if it nicks the side. Supervise young kiddos when trying this at home.

What’s the science:

This experiment demonstrates centripetal force – the force that keeps the hex nut moving on a circular path. Other examples of centripetal force are satellites when they stay in orbit around the earth or when a hula hoop continues to spin around your body when you hula! The screeching sound is caused by the vibration of the balloon when the hex nut comes in contact with the latex.

For more fun Halloween experiments check out this blog’s header menu labeled ‘Halloween’.  It has my favorite She Loves Science Halloween posts over the years!

I hope you are able to enjoy this experiment with cooler fall temperatures!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments Tags: , ,
A battle of the slime recipes

Let’s be honest, slime is the new fidget spinner. It’s been so popular that making slime has literally impacted Elmer’s glue production! And closer to home, my kids and I can’t pass by an Elmer’s glue bottle or a contact solution display without them singing a slime jingle they’ve heard on TV!

I thought I knew all about slime too. I can’t count how many times I’ve made Gak with Borax and I’ve been super skeptical of making slime with contact solution ever since I heard the nonsense. I was a Borax girl all the way.

Until my curiosity got the best of me and I decided, let’s just do a little contest to see what’s better. I’ll show my kids not to fall for this new fly-by-night contact solution recipe that the commercials where selling them. So I grabbed a bottle of contact solution and a ton of glitter glue and headed home to pull out my years old Borax and set up a little experiment.

Contact Solution Slime: Glime (we had to give it a name!)

I used the Elmer’s glue recipe found here

What you need: 6 oz.Elmer’s glitter glue, Contact solution (containing sodium borate in the ingredients), and baking soda

What you do:

  1. Pour Elmer’s glue in a bowl
  2. Put 1/2 Tbsp baking soda in bowl and mix thoroughly
  3. Put 1-1/4 Tbsp of contact solution in bowl and mix
  4. Knead the slime with your hands and add a squirt of contact solution if too sticky

Well that was too easy! And the results were astounding. Check out the stretch on that slime; we stretched it well over 8 feet at one point!

Slime Recipe using Borax: Gak

Ok, my preconceived contact solution ideas were shattered. But who can mess with a classic? So let’s compare by mixing up a bit of Gak with Borax. We’ve done this classic recipe before here and loved it.

But truth be told, when we used glitter glue the results literally fall apart.  Allie said it sounded ‘squelchy’. Gulp. My Borax argument was also falling apart.

So I would recommend when making Borax slime use plain Elmer’s glue.

What you need: Borax, 6 oz. regular Elmer’s glue, food coloring, and warm water.

What you do:

  1. Empty the glue into a large mixing bowl
  2. Fill the empty glue bottle with warm water, swish it around, and pour the glue-water mixture in the mixing bowl
  3. Mix glue and warm water with a spoon
  4. Add food coloring
  5. In a separate cup, mix a teaspoon of Borax with 1/2 cup of warm water
  6. Slowly pour the Borax and water into the glue mixture and stir with a spoon

How did our maroon slime turn out looking like a stretchy organ? Uck. 

So which slime won? 

There was no comparison really. Glime won hands down. Contact solution for the win.

Why Glime over Gak?

  • Gak can stretch but mostly squishes and breaks
  • Glime is glittery goodness that stretches and stretches and stretches……

What’s the science in slime?

Believe it or not, Borax and contact solution are derived from the same boron compound called sodium borate.  This compound is the linking agent that links the glue molecules together.  The linked glue molecules trap the water (in the solution) to make the amazing slime!

As much as I love my Borax, I think I’ll be reaching for contact solution and glitter glue in the future! What is your favorite slime recipe? I’d love to hear your slime making adventures!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , , , ,
How to Grow a Pumpkin Inside A Pumpkin

pumpkinpicmonkeyDo you have any leftover little pumpkins from Halloween? Then I’ve got a great project for you and your future botanist! I quickly learned though, there is a right way and wrong way to do this. (As a side note: I am reminded how much comfort nature can give us in today’s world and what a great lesson of hope this is for kids.)

How not to do it:

A few weeks ago we opened up a pumpkin, marveled at all the seeds, packed it full of dirt and started watering it diligently. Curiously, about the same time, Andrew’s preschool sent home pumpkin seeds growing in a cup with dirt.

The seeds in a cup did MUCH better than our seeds sitting in a rotting pumpkin.  We dissected it for good measure and quickly chunked it. Then a good friend of mine showed me a picture of her daughter’s “pumpkin in a pumpkin” for a Daisy Troop project and it was flourishing! So we decided to try again.

How to do it:

We found another pumpkin but this time we scooped out the seeds first, washed them off, and put the seeds back into the pumpkin with soil.  That made all the difference. (And I didn’t voraciously water it). Four days later the seeds started sprouting! Now we have our own pumpkin-in-a-pumpkin!

What’s the science?

It’s been so much fun talking about how seeds turn into plants and the right and wrong way to grow a pumpkin. But the most interesting conversation has been about the mold on the pumpkin and how decomposition of fruits and vegetables occur.


Mold (which is a fungi) helps break down plants into smaller parts into the soil.  We will eventually put the entire pumpkin into our garden and see how it goes. (I’ll post pictures of it’s progress)

Now that you know the right way to do this, have fun with this easy simple pumpkin-in-a-pumpkin project!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , , ,