Biggest Explorer (Dad!) carved our pumpkin into a Jack O’Lantern in the traditional way, but our Jack wasn’t looking scary enough. So we broke out the bicarbonate of soda and went a little crazy with cocoa powder and food colouring. Our pumpkin needed fake blood and to be frothing at the mouth to really terrify the other ghouls!
To make fake blood you will need:
- Sugar syrup
- Cocoa powder
- Red food colouring
And for the spew of bubbles you will need:
- Bicarbonate powder of soda
For the blood we mixed 2/3 cup of sugar syrup with about ten tablespoons of cornflour and one tablespoon of cocoa powder. We then heated it for a minute in the microwave. The Little Explorers enjoyed counting in the ingredients and whisking it up to a smooth consistency before squeezing in food colouring and mixing until it was a gooey vibrant red.
Needless to say, Jack was carried outside for his liberal covering of fake blood which the Little Explorers could have painted with for hours. All over the table. And the fence. And each other! Luckily, it all washed off, although food dye can stain so beware! Their bathwater certainly turned a very rich shade of brown later.
Next came the pseudo-science. It was fun not to tell the Little Explorers what was going to happen. We counted in six tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda, then asked the children to slowly pour in white vinegar and stand back! A wave of bubbles fizzed and poured and popped out of Jack’s gaping mouth, thrilling the Little Explorers.
Our Little Explorers wanted to repeat the experiment over and over and over… it really was the Halloween gift that kept on giving!