20 Best Tips

Fire Needs Oxygen ~ Science Sunday

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As we started carving our pumpkins this week I remembered that I’d found an experiment we could do along with the hollowed out pumpkins. We ended up rolling our science time together with our Bible time and also our pumpkin carving time…and managed to kill three birds with one stone! Gotta love that!

Before we made faces on our pumpkins, but after we scooped all the yuckies out, we put a small tealight in our pumpkin, lit it, and then put the top back on our pumpkin.

Question of the Week…

What would happen to the candle flame when we put the lid back on the pumpkin?

Items we used for this experiment:

~ a pumpkin

~ a tealight candle

~ lighter/matches

Predictions and Experiment…

Each of the kids made a prediction about what they thought would happen…and not a one guessed the real answer. They thought it might blow the lid off the top of the pumpkin, start it on fire, or worse. :)


We put the lid on, waited about a minute and when we pulled the top off again…the fire had gone out!

The Nutshell Reason…

Fire needs oxygen to burn. Since our pumpkin was essentially sealed {we hadn’t carved out any facial features}, the oxygen was cut off. Once the oxygen is used up, the candle goes out!

After the Experiment…

After the experiment was over, we finished carving out our pumpkins and watched the candles burn {since they had plenty of oxygen now!}. Each of the kids also drew a picture on the back of their experiment sheet to show what happened during the experiment and why.


How to Do Science Experiments with Children Resource: How to Do Science Experiments with Children is available from Amazon and you can also check it out {and do some of the experiments} using Google Docs! The experiments use easy-to-find objects and also include record sheets for kids to fill out with their predictions and experiment results. Each experiment also includes teaching tips and explanations…which are rather handy! :)

Don’t forget to check out some other great science ideas at Science Sunday hosted by Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom.

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This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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