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What are some truly cool things I can do with dry ice?

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#1 PinkInTheBlue


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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:11 PM

I know nothing about dry ice; nothing at all. We'll be getting some tomorrow and every other week after that. What are some truly cool things we can do? I use the word cool on purpose. I've only been around dry ice once and it was just so...cool! LOL

#2 jplain


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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:29 PM

It is good for practical jokes! I used to work in a lab and had ready access to dry ice. We'd put a small piece in a small plastic tube, cap it, and then casually walk by someone else's lab bench and drop it into their waste basket. A minute or two later the tube would explode as the dry ice melted and the gas expanded. Great fun! We'd do a similar thing in the lunch room. Drop the capped tube into an empty soda can, and then leave it on the lunch room table where others were eating.

But that probably isn't the kind of thing you're looking for, right? :D

We'd also put a piece inside a latex glove, tie the wrist shut, and then let it slowly expand into a big hand-shaped balloon. You could try the same thing with a balloon to demonstrate how the volume of the solid dry ice is much smaller than the volume of the "melted" CO2 gas.

:) Carolyn

#3 hornblower


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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:38 PM

We get dry ice regularly for the kids birthday parties.

the standby thing to do, which somehow never gets boring is to put containers of very hot water on a table & drop a few pieces of dry ice into the container (using tongs or heavy duty gloves) ------> fog

if you add a few drops of regular dish soap to the hot water before adding the dry ice -----> weird cool looking pile of bubbles which you can pop with a finger or a straw & have the fog escape

see pix here http://hmsindefatiga...hugo-is-10.html

There's a funny thing to do with it if you have a Canadian toonie (a $2) which has a polar bear on one side & the Queen on the other. You hold the dry ice in tongs with one hand and the coin in the other hand using either tongs or a gloves.

You say "First I'll touch the Queen to the dry ice because the Queen should always go first". The coin will make a 'squealing' noise as it comes in contact with the dry ice and you way "ooops, the Queen doesn't like that!" Then you flip the coin over & touch it to the polar bear but the polar bear won't make a sound now (because the coin is still cold.....) Kids can try to figure out why the polar bear was silent.....

#4 Peek a Boo

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:49 PM

i found an idea in a special effects cookbook:

dragon birthday cake.
hole through cake snout and thru cake board to small bowl underneath.
bowl/container must have a tight fitting lid/ cover [foil works pretty good].
have dry ice in covered bowl.
poke a straw through snout nose and cake board so it pierces top of bowl.

bowl cover also has to have a way to add some water --like a second straw [pierced through a foil cover] w/ foil funnel.

add water thru the funnel, immediately stop up funnel straw, and watch 'steam' pour out dragon's nose....

#5 Tutor


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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:57 PM

Two cool demos we just saw involving dry ice:

1. Blow up a balloon and drop it in the dry ice. Wait about 10 minutes then take it out and lay it on the table. Watch the balloon re-inflate as the air inside changes from a liquid to a gas.

2. Have your kids pull on an uninflated balloon to feel it stretch. Have a kid stomp on the balloon. Place the balloon in the dry ice for about a minute. Pull it out and put it on the ground and have a kid stomp on it and watch it shatter! Pick up the pieces a couple minutes later and feel that they've gone stretchy again. (Then go around finding anything and everything you can freeze! Flowers are especially fun!)

#6 MomOfOneFunOne


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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:03 PM

My daughter and I did this and it was cool!

You need

-- a canister or jar. We used one from the store that was shaped like a bear and had animal crackers in it. take out the animal crackes, wash well.

-- a length of tubing. the length is up to you, say a foot or so.

-- the means to drill a hole in the lid the same size as your tubing. Be careful: you have to put the top of the lid on a flat, hard surface or it may break.

-- hot glue/gun.

-- bubble solution

Bore the hole in the lid. Fit the end of the tubing into the hole. it should fit snugly. Hot glue around the tube/hole so air doesn't leak. Put a bit of dry ice in the jar and cover with warm water. screw on the lid. when the fog comes out of the other end of the tubing dip that end into the bubble solution. Voila! Foggy Bubbles! I hope it sounds easy because it really is. If you get too much ice the fog flows too quickly and the bubbles burst b/f they form.

Great Fun!

#7 Peek a Boo

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:16 PM

-- the means to drill a hole in the lid the same size as your tubing. Be careful: you have to put the top of the lid on a flat, hard surface or it may break.

if the lid is plastic, try heating up a screwdriver over the stovetop burner that is a similar diameter to your tubing and melting a hole instead.


i cracked quite a few plastic lids before figuring that one out. can't believe our pyro family didn't think of trying that first, lol.

#8 Angel


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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:59 PM

Dh did dry ice experiments with the kids at co-op in the fall. He did do the dry ice in hot water and also the dry ice in water with the dish soap. He used a metal spoon to make the dry ice "sing." One of the fun things he did was the dry ice, hot water and then took a paper towel with dish soap swirled on it. You put the paper towel over a coffee cup that has the dry ice and water in it and then pull the paper towel slowly over the coffee cup and it makes one big bubble. Very cool. This was one of the favorites with the kids at co-op. He also got an experiment from the NASA website on how to make the nucleus of a comet with the dry ice. Dh said he did some google searching and came up with the ideas. I blogged about our trial run. You can check it out here if you want, it's under Garage Science.


#9 Tucker


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Posted 26 July 2010 - 10:55 PM

There are tons of fun things to do with dry ice on this dry ice website. Here are a few awsome things to do with dry ice:
  • Dry ice fog
  • The dry ice bubble ()
  • Dry ice in the pool!

#10 Lara in Colo

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 11:31 PM

Freezing strawberries this way keeps the strawberry as normal as possible and they don't turn mushy because the water crystals don't break the cells? (I Think --Alton Brown from Good Eats did a show on this-)