Expanding Ghost Balloon

Such a fun and neat Halloween science experiment to get you into the holiday spirit!

Normally we are rushing out the door in the morning to head to daycare, but earlier this week we had some time to do a quick science experiment before we left for the day. I recently saw this science experiment on Pinterest, and I’ve been wanting to try it out with my 3-year-old, so I took the opportunity to put it together for us.

My son goes crazy for these types of activities. I tend to mix it up between crafts and science activities, but he seems to enjoy and gravitate towards the experiments more. This Expanding Ghost Balloon experiment definitely got us all into the holiday mood. Halloween is only a few weeks away, so I love creating themed activities for us to do.

This science experiment amazed us! We couldn’t believe how well it worked. You use baking soda and vinegar to create carbon dioxide and when those 2 ingredients combine, gas fills the balloon to make it expand. There was an instant reaction and the balloon quickly expanded.


Parent Prep

  • Measure 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup and pour it into the empty water bottle.
  • Using a black permanent marker draw black eyes and a mouth onto the white balloon.
  • Measure 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Place the funnel in the balloon and pour the baking soda into the funnel, so it goes into the balloon.
  • Wrap the opening of the balloon onto the opening of the plastic water bottle while carefully not getting the baking soda into the bottle.
  • When the balloon is intact lift the balloon up so the baking soda falls into the water bottle. The baking soda will mix with the apple cider vinegar.


* If you have older kiddos, they can help with the “parent prep” steps above. I had my 3-year-old pour the apple cider vinegar into the plastic water bottle and measure the baking soda.

* The water bottle will fall over when the balloon is expanding (that’s ok, just put it back upright). However, if you use more than suggested, I would take this activity outside, as too much pressure the balloon could explode.


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