“Ghosts are spooky. I love them,” my preschooler informs me.
In part due to my daughter’s extreme love of all things creepy, this Halloween, we’ve made it our mission to do as many fun Halloween STEM activities as possible.
When my daughter told me she loves ghosts, I knew there was a way to make her ghostly obsession into a STEAM activity that would be both educational and adorable!
I love how the ghost chromatography experiment turned out, and it is not only fun for at-home projects, but it is also classroom-friendly!
Be the Best Science Teacher Ever with Ghost Chromatography
Kids will love transforming this science activity into a ghostly Halloween decoration!
What you will need:
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- Black permanent marker
- Rubbing Alcohol
- White coffee filters
- Mason jars
Flatten the coffee filter.
Draw several black circles around the middle of the coffee filter, but not the very middle. You don’t want the ink to ever touch the alcohol directly.
Fill a mason jar about half-way with rubbing alcohol.
Fold the coffee filters into a triangle shape with the middle pointing down.
Let the very tip of the coffee filter just graze the surface of the alcohol. Use a clothespin to hold in place.
Leave the coffee filter in the rubbing alcohol for 24 hours, or until the liquid works its way to the edge of the coffee filter.
Take out the coffee filter and let it dry.
Admire the pretty colors.
Fold the center of the coffee filter around a pom pom and twist the filter to hold the head in place.
Draw on a ghost face with a permanent marker.
Your chromatography ghosts are done!
Markers are made up of a bunch of colors, particularly black. When you suspend the coffee filter in alcohol, it slowly separates each of the colors contained in the black ink, revealing that black is really made up of a bunch of fun colors!
Want More Halloween STEAM? (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
Download our free printable Halloween STEM activities calendar!
Find more amazing Halloween STEAM activities in the STEAM Kids Halloween book!