Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooky Science: DIY Fake Blood

Can you believe Halloween is almost here?! My kiddos are so excited that they've been asking for spooky activity upon spooky activity this week. You might recall that our entire family dressed up as vampires last year for the holiday and Kane was insistent on having realistic full make-up, including a constant reapplication of fake blood dripping from his fangs. It tasted disgusting, but he really wanted to go for the full effect. So I thought it would be fun to use one of his afternoons off this week (parent-teacher conferences!) to try our hand at a little gross and spooky science: DIY fake blood.

I found a great set of experiments from Steve Spangler using a variety of kitchen ingredients to incrementally create realistic fake blood. We didn't recreate the base mixture each time, so ours varied a little from the recipe. But I still think we ended up with a super creepy realistic mixture. Kane was dismayed to find that although many of the ingredients seemed yummy, when mixed together, it tasted as gross as it looked. He had no problem chowing down some creepy candy splattered with it though.

To make your own spooky science, you'll need:
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- a few drops of green food coloring
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
- 1/2 cup tropical fruit punch
- 1 tablespoon of powdered cocoa

You'll also need a blender and a white paper towel.

1. To get your base level, mix together the corn syrup, water, and the two kinds of food coloring. Blend well in the blender and drip a bit onto the paper towel. Smear it. Smell it. Does it look real? Kane said that it "looked like a smoothie" and "smell(ed) like one, too." He didn't think it was realistic and thought everyone would be able to "figure out that it's fake."

2. To get to the next level of realistic blood, add the cornstarch to your base mixture and blend well. Check it out on your white paper towel. Kane thought that the addition of the cornstarch, which we discussed is used as a thickening agent, made the blood more difficult to see through. 

3. Take the new mixture and add chocolate syrup. Blend well. It's starting to smell good, and upon tasting it, Kane said it was "yummy," darker and "more oozey." I guess that sounds more realistic? 

(the lightest splatters are the first recipe; the thicker but still light colored dots are the second; and the darkest dot and line are the third)

4. For the ultimate in realism, add in the tropical fruit punch and chocolate powder. Once it's blended,  spoon some on to the white paper towel and see for yourself. Kane thought this one looked real because it was "very dark."

Such perfect spooky science!

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