I guarantee you’ve never made a lava lamp quite like this before! Get ready to entertain the kiddos with this unique glow in the dark lava lamp that looks like a whirling glowing a snowstorm. This is the perfect activity for a science birthday party or a Halloween party!
If you love making a homemade glow in the dark lava lamp, you’ll love this collection of 31 Spooky Halloween Experiments for Kids!
How to Make a Glow in the Dark Lava Lamp
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To make our homemade glow in the dark lava lamp we gathered the following supplies:
How to Make a Lava Lamp that Glows
Once we had all of our supplies ready we followed these directions to make our glowing lava lamp:
- Squeeze some glow in the dark gel into the bottom of the jar. We used about one ounce of glow in the dark gel in a 32 ounce jar.
- Add enough warm water to dissolve all of the glow in the dark gel. The jar should be about 1/4-1/3 full of water.
- Add some glow in the dark glitter. This just adds a little bit more glow in the dark sparkle!
- Pour baby oil to the jar, leaving several inches empty at the top.
- Turn off the lights and add one Alka-Seltzer tablet at a time and watch what happens! You can break up the Alka-Seltzer tablets, too, and add them in smaller pieces. Experiment to see how to get the best bubbles from your DIY glow in the dark lava lamp!
The Science Behind the Glow in the Dark Lava Lamp
I love this spooky science demonstration because there are several different scientific concepts to learn! The kids are absorbing tons of great principles without even realizing it 🙂
First, the glow in the dark component. We saw when we made glow in the dark window gel clings that everything that glows in the dark is made up of little chemicals called phosphors that emit energy in the form of light. They will glow in the dark as often as you charge them up in the light!
Next, why don’t water and oil mix? The simple answer is that they are made of different chemical bonds. No matter how hard you stir, water and oil will never mix together. If you want more in-depth answers and examples of this check out this cool oil and water experiment or our classic Lava Lamp/Density experiment!
Last, what is the chemical reaction that happens when you drop Alka-Seltzer into the glow in the dark lava lamp? What makes the glowing layer bubble up?
We know that both glow in the dark gel and Alka-Seltzer dissolve in the water layer (on the bottom) because they are made of the same kinds of chemical bonds. As the Alka-Seltzer dissolves a reaction between an acid and a base happens, causing carbon dioxide to bubble up through the oil layer. This is the fun chemical reaction you can see! We used this same chemical reaction to paint with film canister rockets, which the kids LOVED!
More Halloween STEM for Kids
If you are looking for even MORE fun and educational Halloween activities, be sure to check out STEAM Kids Halloween! It contains 50+ pages of spooky fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) activities that will wow the boredom right out of kids!