Pumpkin Potion: Halloween Science Activity

This pumpkin potion is colorful, bubbly, and pure magic! Using a few simple ingredients your little witch can create their own witch’s brew.

We are so excited for Halloween! Every day Aaliyah says “on Halloween I say trick or treat??” We’ve basically been rehearsing for two weeks! After making our fall tree, and play dough pumpkins, I wanted to create something really Halloweeny.

I’ve been seeing tons of posts about pumpkin volcanoes on Instagram, like this one from Bash & CO! I’ve never heard of pumpkin volcanoes before but I loved the idea. Then I saw Fun is Better Than Perfect’s post on Witch’s Brew and I was obsessed! I thought it would be perfect to combine the two ideas together, mix in a little extra color and come up with the perfect witch’s pumpkin potion!


  • Pumpkin
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bow tie noodles
  • Black liquid watercolor
  • Leaves
  • Googley eyes
  • Magic wand
  • Jars and platter
  • Vinyl tablecloth, cake pan, towels- things to clean because this is a magical mess!
Prepping Your Pumpkin

We used a pretty small pumpkin. Technically these are the “pumpkin pie pumpkins.” I’ve seen videos using big pumpkins, but it would take a lot of ingredients to get the bubbling effect! I cut the pumpkin almost in half, to create a cauldron shape.

Once the pumpkin was shaped, I had her help me clean out all of the seeds. This is a sensory activity in itself! She really enjoyed squishing the seeds between her fingers and feeling the difference between the smooth seeds and softer insides.

Mixing Your Baking Soda

Are you all sick of hearing me say I hate food coloring yet? You can mix food coloring in with your vinegar (I won’t but you can lol) and I have also added liquid water colors to the vinegar itself For me, the watercolor diluted the vinegar and made it have less of a reaction.

I love using sidewalk chalk as a DIY tempura paint powder. Our favorite bath activity DIY bath paint uses it, we mix it with water to use outside, and it gave us the color for our pumpkin. To make our paint powder, I put the chalk into a ziplock bag and smash it with a hammer. It’s a bit of a stress reliever, you can count it as art therapy! Once it’s ground up I mixed it into jars half and half with the baking soda. I used glass baby food jars to add more of a witchy feel.

Making Bats

I loved the bat wing ingredients that Fun is Better Than Perfect added to their witch’s brew and wanted to use them in our pumpkin potion! To make them, all you need is a handful of pasta and some DIY black liquid watercolor! The watercolor needs to be very saturated so that the noodles don’t get too wet.

I ended up actually dipping the noodles into the liquid watercolors because of the folds of the noodles. Once your bats are the perfect shade of black, set them out to dry!

Setting up the Pumpkin Potion Table

Pumpkin potion is magically messy, but with the right prep work all it took was a few towels, a shower, and the wave of a magical wand to clean! There’s already a vinyl tablecloth under our craft table to help with messes, but I pushed the desk so that it was right in the center in case of spills. You can place the pumpkin into a cake pan to contain the potion that spills out, but I placed ours on the floor and just had it catch what spilled. After I wiped the potion into the pan and washed the tablecloth in the shower, so easy!

In our wooden leaf tray I placed some of our bats, a few googley “frog eyes,” and some silk leaves and pumpkin seeds. I placed the baking soda jars on the table where she could easily see them. I poured the vinegar into a small plastic container, because I knew she would pour it all in at once! Our pumpkin potion lasted us almost an hour a half because I limited the materials. I added a small amount of baking soda and chalk to each jar, and set out small amounts of our extra ingredients. Whenever one was empty I would refill it a little at a time. This will help your little one not to dump everything in their pumpkin cauldron at once!

Brewing the Pumpkin Potion

Before she could brew her pumpkin potion, she had to dress the part! We already had a wand from Harry Potter’s birthday celebration, and I used some black felt and hot glue to make a little witch hat clip! If you don’t have a magic wand, I do recommend a spoon or stir stick so that they can really mix up their potion!

Once her outfit was ready, I pointed out all the ingredients, naming them and discussing the scientific reaction that would occur. Her little voice saying carbon dioxide was so cute! She was so excited to start and picked the pink baking soda. We added in some leaves, bats, and frog eyes and I squirted some dishwashing soap in as well. This makes your potion extra bubbly which is of course extra fun!

It took two rounds of baking soda and vinegar to make the pumpkin potion overflow the pumpkin! She loved pointing out the swirls and mixing colors, and seeing when the bats and eyes bubbles to the surface.

We had so much fun with this! She kept practicing her witch’s cackle and making up spells and stories about what her potion was for. I think this will be a new tradition for us!

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  1. Your little one is the cutest thing on the planet! OMG! This looks like such a fun project, I’m definitely going to give it a go this weekend with my little girl!
    XXOO Sunny Jess

  2. Your daughter is so cute, it looks like she’s having a blast! This sounds like a lot of fun, with lots of great sensory things for kids to enjoy.

  3. This is so fun! And your daughter is adorable! My son will LOVE this! Thanks for sharing.

  4. IT is such a fun way to incorporate science at an early age. I am sure it is somethng she will always remember.

  5. mrsgdontquit says:

    Wow she looks as if she had a ton of fun and now I want pumpkin pie!

  6. 101foodtravel says:

    Your daughter is so adorable. I love this kind of activist ties. My daughter would enjoy this. Thank you for sharing.

  7. This looks like such a fun activity. My boys would love to do this, especially the messy bits. Look at the joy on her face!

  8. Jessica says:

    I love that this is so different than your typical Halloween craft activity. Not only would my three year old love this, but I think my 9 and 12 years olds would as well! I am pinning this to use next year as well!

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