kids playing with jars filled with science potions

What fun things can you do with dry ice? Make giant magic potions!! This is THE COOLEST dry ice science project!

Kids will love exploring dry ice and making bubbles! Adults will too.

What is dry ice? Dry ice is carbon dioxide in its solid form. It’s used to keep things cold, especially during shipping of products that will go bad or melt, like meats or ice cream. As dry ice melts, it turns into carbon dioxide gas.

Why is dry ice fun to play with? If you mix dry ice with water, it will change from a solid to a gas without existing in a liquid phase in between.

RELATED: Kids love exploring science concepts! Need more easy science ideas? I have 25+ Science Projects for Toddlers!

What you need to make Magic Potions with dry ice:

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Dry ice
  • Hammer
  • Jars (or containers)
  • Kiddie pool
  • Tongs
  • Towel
  • Turkey basters
  • Water

How to set up this fun Dry Ice Science Project:

1) Grab some dry ice at a local store. Bring it home, wrap it in a towel and get the rest of the activity ready.

2) Put some jars or containers in your kiddie pool or bathtub or wherever you want to do this. I like doing it outside since it can get messy with bubbles.

3) Next, grab a hammer and some tongs and let your kids HAMMER the ice. Make sure the towel is wrapped around the ice really well so you can’t see or touch the ice. If you have googles, wear them! My kids thought this part was the coolest ever. Once you have little pieces of ice, the adult (or responsible big kids) can use tongs to pick up the dry ice and put it in the jars/containers. Put 1-2 small pieces in each jar.

* Note I used glass jars, but have since learned dry ice can crack glass (fortunately it did not crack ours)… so use plastic or metal containers for your potions.

4) Finally, add some squirts of Dawn dish soap to the jars and some water and watch what happens!!!

How to Play with the Magic Potions

Use droppers or turkey basters or pitchers to add water to your dry ice concoctions! We also snuck in some food coloring to make the potions get colorful!

This activity was SO FUN!

⚠️ Dry ice is dangerous. Kids need to be supervised doing this activity at all times. Do not let your kids touch the dry ice. The bubbles on top are not dangerous to touch. Kids just need to keep their hands out of the insides of the jars where the ice is. You know your kids and what they are capable of doing/not doing, so use common sense as you do this activity.

How can science activities teach self control?

SELF CONTROL is a critical life skill that needs to be taught and practiced, which is why I paint indoors on walls and play with sensory materials with my kids! Science projects like this activity can also help you teach your kids about self control and how to follow directions.

Do you have any other favorite ways to play with dry ice? We’ve love to hear about them in the comments! This smoking dragon dry ice idea from Teach Beside Me is on our list to try!