Fun Friday – Carve a Heart of Hope Pumpkins

Continuing on with the Halloween theme we are talking PUMPKINS today; Of course in this house we don’t just carve them… Oooh Noooh… we like to see what else we can do with them… exploding, glowing, oozing… all in the name of SCIENCE!

But first…

But before we all don the lab coats and goggles I wanted to draw your attention to the Carve a Heart of Hope for Halloween Campaign, run by World Vision Ireland.

World Vision Heart of HopeWorld Vision Ireland is a small part of the global World Vision organization, providing long term support to children in six African countries; Mauritania, Kenya, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Sierra Leone.  They also provide emergency support where needed and are actively supporting the Syrian crisis at the moment.

This Halloween World Vision Ireland are running a campaign to raise awareness of the work that they do.  They are asking people all over Ireland to carve a heart of hope into a pumpkin and place it in their window as a sign of support of their Survive to 5 campaign.

(Click on the links above if you want to find out more about this campaign).

Back to Pumpkins…

So what did we do with our pumpkins? Well first we carved them…
Then we added a bit of glow in the dark paint… because we are just loving anything that glows at the moment!


Then we turned our attention to the oozy, exploding bit…

If you want to try this at home you will need…

What you need:
A carved pumpkin (use a small one)
250 mls 6% Hydrogen Peroxide
2 teaspoons (or 2 sachets) dried yeast
2 Tablespoons warm water
Washing up liquid
Food colouring (optional)

What to do:
Place a small plastic container inside your pumpkin (large enough to contain 300 mls but small enough to leave plenty of room between the container and pumpkin lid). Carefully pour in the 250 mls hydrogen peroxide.  Add a BIG squirt on washing up liquid. A about 5 drops of food colouring if using.

In a separate bowl mix the 2 teaspoons of dried yeast into the warm water. Carfeully add this to the hydrogen peroxide mixture inside the pumpkin, replace the lid and then stand back and enjoy!

What is happening:
This is an example of a catalytic reaction which really just means that something is added to the reaction to make it happen a lot faster, but that it is not chemically changed by the reaction. The something added is called a catalyst.  The yeast is the catalyst it this reaction… it splits the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen without getting chemically changed itself.  The oxygen produced then combines with the washing up liquid to produce a LOT of foam!

What to do with the bits you don’t use for Science?… Eat them!

Don’t forget about the lovely fleshy parts of the pumpkin, you did keep them before you started experimenting, right?  Here are some links to some great recipes, from some of my favourite bloggers, to put that pumpkin to good use…

  • Pumpkin Bread… a yummy alternative to Banana Bread; this one is by fellow Irish Parenting Blogger, Christine, more often found blogging at Awfully Chipper.
  • Or you could just download the lovely Pumpkin Pack as part of the Carve a Heart of Hope Campaign for a great Pumpkin soup recipe from Donal Skehan.

Happy Halloween… and stay tuned for more Halloween fun… lots of glowing, bubbling, exploding experiments coming up in the next few days!


Science blogger and writer; Owner of Dr. How's Science Wows; Mother of three junior scientists who have taught me that to be a great scientist you need to look at life through the eyes of a child!

6 thoughts on “Fun Friday – Carve a Heart of Hope Pumpkins

  • Pingback: Halloween Party | Nurture Learning

  • October 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Ah the oozing one is brilliant, love the effect the glow in the dark paint had on the heart one too, very cool xx #batcraftcrazy
    Sara recently posted…Halloween Craft LinkyMy Profile

    • October 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Oh thanks Leandra, we still have plenty of glue left to try your window clings, planning it for tomorrow 🙂 Hope they turn out as well as yours, what a fab idea!

  • October 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This is amazing! One to keep in mind for when the boys are older 🙂 Nice carving skills, too!


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