Boo! Do Ghosts Fly because of Magic or Convection? … DIY Halloween Ghost Tea Bag Activity
Here’s a free Halloween themed DIY STEM activity that is easy to do and really quick. At 17 / 25 points, take 10 minutes this weekend and have fun decorating a ghost and learning about how it took flight! Thanks for sharing KiwiCo!
What: DIY Halloween Ghost Tea Bag
Rating (out of 25): At 17 Points, the rating is Do IT if you’re short of time because it only takes 10 minutes! (Fun = 3 + Confidence & Curiosity = 3 + STEM Aligned = 4, + Time Value = 2, + Cost = 5
Cost: Free (if you have the materials)
Age: 5+ (adult supervision required and needed to light the tea bag and make sure items that are / were hot have water poured over).
BBQ Starter or Matches
Gather your materials.
With scissors, cut the top of the teabag removing the string, staple and tea contents from the bag.
Unfold the bag so that it is a cylinder. We trimmed off one end so that it would stand flat and made the other rounded to decorate it as a ghost.
Use a marker to give your ghost a face 🙂
Place your tea bag cylinder onto a non-flammable plate or tin foil. Make sure there is enough room (at least 8 feet) for the tea bag to take flight and not hit the ceiling.
Make your predictions! What do you think will happen once you light the tea bag? What happens if the cylinder is longer or shorter?
Once you are ready, have an adult light the top of the teabag cylinder and dispose of the matches or candle safely (dip it under water).
Watch it fly! Then dispose of tea bag ashes safely (dip under water).
STEM Lesson: The flying tea bag experiment is a similar concept to a hot air balloon. As the teabag burns it fills with hot air. The heated air rose above the cooler dense air. Once the teabag was burned the lightness of the ashes combined with the heated air caused the tea bag cylinder to lift into the air.
Fun facts … The hot air balloon was the first successful human-carrying flight technology and was invented on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France. The heated air inside the envelope of the hot air balloon makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope.