Get making this Halloween – Ghastly Ghosts and Bats is a paid collaboration with the Year of Engineering. I am delighted to be teaming up with The Holiday Makers again to share with you a simple and spooky engineering experiment this Halloween. We are going to show you how to make Tissue Paper ghosts and bats move and dance without touching them. Want to find out more? Keep reading……
Ghastly Ghosts and Bats is a super simple engineering experiment that you can make at home with things that you will have already. I did it with my 12 years old and also my best friends seven-year-old and they both loved it – hands-on science fun that demonstrates how static electricity works (perfect for the 12 year olds need to know brain) but also just great fun for younger children who will just find it magical. Q had the best time making the bats “fly” to the balloon.
The Holiday Makers
The Holiday Makers campaign from the Year of Engineering is shaking up people’s ideas about engineering and inspiring the next generation of innovators, inventors and problem solvers by showing them what engineers actually do and how they shape the world with a fantastic series of activities and events for parents to do with their children via their online hub. All of the activities are free and perfect to do at home.
There are also engaging and educational days out going on across the country this half term and you can find lots of ideas to choose from on The Holiday Makers site.
There are some great events in the North East:
- Potions Workshop – Life Center
- Invent Workshops – Discovery Museum
- Future Engineers – Railway Museum
Get making this Halloween – Ghastly Ghosts and Bats
- Tissue paper or even a tissue will work
- A balloon
- A head of hair or a jumper
- Spooky Music (to set the scene!
How to make Ghastly Ghosts and Bats
Cut out a ghost shape in the tissue as shown about 1.5 inches (4 cm) long and add some eyes with a marker. If you are using 2-ply tissues, peel apart the 2 layers to get the tissue as thin as possible. Younger children may find it easier to draw their ghost onto the tissue before cutting it.
Tape the bottom of your ghost to the table
Blow up the balloon and tie it. Then rub it really fast through your hair or jumper for about 10 seconds. This will add a static charge.
Slowly bring the balloon near the ghost, and the ghost will begin to rise toward the balloon.
This experiment uses static electricity generated by the balloon to make the tissue paper dance. Engineers use this type of reaction to come up with new ways to generate small amounts of electricity cheaply and easily
Download a free how-to printable for this activity here
Extension Activities for Ghastly Ghosts and bats
Try making your ghosts and bats out of different weights of paper, what do you notice?
Does making your ghosts and bats different sizes make a difference?
Time how long they dance for.
Does rubbing the balloon on your hair or jumper make a difference?
We have also made a video so you can see just how fun and simple this is: