Today is my final Fizzy, Fun Preschool Science Activity! I've been planning the Witch's Brew for Halloween for a month now! I think I enjoyed watching the kids play at least as much as they enjoyed it!
If you want to look at my other Fizzy, Fun Preschool Science activities, Part 1 was Fizzing Sidewalk Paint, Part 2 was Fizzing Lemonade, and Part 3 was an Alka Seltzer Lava Lamp.
So, "Witch's Brew" is actually code for "Home-made Root-beer!" Here's what you'll need:
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Watkins Root Beer Concentrate
- 1 1/2 pounds dry ice
This will make a very sweet root-beer. Feel free to adjust the ingredients however you like. You can get all these ingredients at your local grocery store...if you have the right grocery store. Some just don't carry dry ice and root beer concentrate. I like to call in advance. Anyways, on with the magic!
- Mix the water, sugar, and concentrate in a saucepan. Let your little witches and warlocks help measure, count, pour, and stir.
- Heat the mixture on the stove until the sugar dissolves and the it starts to boil. High heat is fine, as long as you don't burn any sugar on the bottom of your pan.
- Pour the mixture into your "cauldron" and add half of the final, secret ingredient: dry ice! **See safety note at the bottom of this post about dry ice.**
- Enjoy the magic! If the first half of your dry ice disappears, add the second half. Let it sizzle for about an hour so it has time to carbonate your drink. We did this at the start of our Halloween Party, and then came back to it after a craft and pinata.
Dry Ice Science: Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It sublimates, or moves directly from a solid to a gas. When it turns into a gas, it bubbles and foams. The bubbles that are caught in the brew will make it fizzy/carbonated. The carbon dioxide that seeps out of the pan and along the table is just carbon dioxide as a gas.
Dry Ice Safety: Dry ice is much colder than normal ice--it is more than 100 degrees F below zero. If you hold it with your bare hands, it will burn you as easily as a fire would burn you. Use gloves and tongs when handling dry ice. Touching the "foam," or gas as the carbon dioxide sublimates is perfectly safe.