It’s creepy and it’s kooky but it’s also deliciously fun. Dry ice experiments had us laughing, blocking our ears and entertained over the weekend. If you’re stuck at home avoiding crowds due to Covid, or looking for a fun stay-at-home activity for a rainy day, we think dry ice experiments are the way to go. The best bit, you can organise it so the activities are wheelchair accessible too.
DRY ICE EXPERIMENTS – WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE FUN
Dry ice evaporates fairly quickly so it’s good to do some planning prior to buying it. BJ has been spending quite a bit of time watching YouTube over the holidays and his favourites, The Funk Bros, have done several experiments with dry ice. We weren’t trying to achieve anything on the scale of the Funk Bros but planned out a few smaller versions, manageable without a YouTuber’s budget and without filling paddle pools with dry ice in the lounge room as they did.
We bought 2.6kgs of dry ice, lined up several different glass containers, a plastic cauldron (leftover from a birthday party prop), balloons, a latex glove, glow sticks, flowers and strawberries for our various experiments. We also had dishwashing liquid, bubble mix and hot water on standby.
The dry ice comes in small pellets. It’s important to follow the safety instructions and use gloves when working with the dry ice. For this reason, AJ was in charge of adding the dry ice.
BJ’S FAVOURITE DRY ICE EXPERIMENT
BJ’s favourite dry ice experiment involved the cauldron. We filled a third of the cauldron with warm water, added several handfuls of dry ice until it was bubbling and smoking.
Hubby then put some dishwashing detergent on his finger and wiped it around the rim of the cauldron. In a separate bowl he had warm water with dishwashing liquid and a strip of material soaking in it. He took the strip of material and ran it over the top of the cauldron until a film of the dishwashing liquid covered the top.
The dry ice bubbling underneath inflates the bubble.
You can either wait for it to naturally pop or pop it yourself. BJ votes for popping the bubble and watching the dry ice fog.
BUBBLE MIX WITH DRY ICE
Hubby, AJ and I enjoyed the colourful effect of taking one of my enormous vases, adding hot water, dry ice, food colouring and bubble mix.
We ended up with a volcano effect of bubbling liquid overflowing the vase.
The kids enjoyed touching the bubbles which vaporised on touch but there was a side effect, both kids ended up with Smurf hands.
Face wash removed the food colouring. If you’re adverse to mess, I suggest you avoid food colouring but I promise the colouring makes it way more fun.
INFLATE A BALLOON OR LATEX GLOVE
Pop some dry ice inside a balloon or latex glove, tie it at the end and then watch it inflate.
We tried a few other experiments we’d seen on YouTube but didn’t find them as successful or spectacular as the ones above. One was somewhat unsafe and I won’t recommend it but it sure did make a big bang! AJ froze some flowers and strawberries too.
DRY ICE DRINKS
For the kids, pop some dry ice into a glass of apple juice for some carbonated fun. Just don’t let them drink it until the vapours disappear.
And for all the parents assisting with the experiments, make sure you finish off with a chilled beverage. I had a lovely cool white wine at the end of the fun.
We bought our dry ice from Mr Ice Man in Penrith on the way back from an outing to the Blue Mountains. BOC Gas also stocks dry ice. We were quoted about $25 for 2kgs but it ended up a bit cheaper. I’m not sure if that’s because we bought over 4kgs in the end to share with friends. I believe in the US dry ice is available at the grocery store.
You’ll find some ideas for experiments on Mr Ice Man’s website and there’s plenty of ideas on YouTube. Please make sure you wear gloves and observe all the precautions of playing with dry ice.
If you’ve got a Tik Tok account, take a look at the video AJ has put together on the Have Wheelchair Will Travel account.