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What Cool Things Can Kids Do with Dry Ice?

Fun dry ice experiments for kids

Dry ice is some cool stuff – literally – at -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit. But what you can do with it is even cooler.

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide – the gas that makes your drinks fizzy (and the stuff you breathe out when you exhale). Dry ice does a lot of other things, too, including making some awesome displays for Halloween (more about that in a couple of weeks…stay tuned!).

Dry ice safety

Experimenting with dry ice can be fun for kids – but you need to be careful with it. Dry ice is so cold that it will actually burn you (like frostbite)! Always follow safe handling instructions for dry ice, including these:

  • Never touch it with your fingers – use tongs or gloves
  • Never put it in your mouth
  • Never lock it in a closed or sealed container – it can explode as it sublimates (turns from a solid into a gas).

Fun dry ice experiments for kids

Here are some fun experiments your science-loving kids can try with dry ice. Have any more? Let us know!

  • Disappearing ice – Place a regular ice cube and a cube of dry ice side by side on separate plates for one or two hours; when you return, the ice cube will leave water behind; the dry ice will have completely disappeared.
  • Smoke bubbles – Add a few drops of liquid dish soap in a tall glass of water. Carefully place the dry ice into the soapy water using gloves or tongs. With the liquid dish soap in the mix, the soap in the water traps the CO2 and water vapor to form a bubble. Try adding food coloring to the water for colored bubbles.
  • Floating dry ice bubble – Fill a deep baking pan or aquarium with about one inch of water, then add a few pieces of dry ice using tongs. The dry ice will “smoke” as the CO2 and water vapor combine. If you blow bubbles (from a bubble wand) into the tank, the bubbles will appear to float in midair inside of the container; they are actually floating on CO2.
  • Bubbling beverages – Filling a bowl or pitcher with your juice of choice, then add a few pieces of dry ice using tongs. As your drink begins to bubble, the juice will become carbonated – just like soda.
  • Inflate a balloon – Put a deflated balloon over the opening of one of your bottles and watch it grow. The balloon catches all the carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates. Since carbon dioxide is denser than air, it will also sink to the ground.

Need dry ice for your latest experiments? Irish Carbonic has it at our convenient Rochester and Buffalo locations. Contact us today to place your order!

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