It doesn’t matter how often you try out a few science experiments with your kids, the results are almost always the same.
The LOVE the reactions! Whether you’re combining simple baking soda with some vinegar or something a little more complex, they’re just fascinated with the outcome.
While working our way through our C is for Circus unit, I wanted to try to throw in a couple of fun science experiments since it’s been a while since we’ve done some, and while this experiment itself doesn’t really have much to do with the circus, the name sure does!
And what kid (or adult for that matter) wouldn’t love making a little elephant toothpaste!
I mean, there’s nothing better than a fun, foaming science experiment right?!
This experiment is so simple, so easy to set up and really will wow your kids 🙂 Want to try it out yourself?
To make elephant toothpaste, you’ll need:
- Plastic soda bottle (16 oz. works best)
- Dawn dish soap
- 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
- Food coloring
- 1 tsp. yeast
- 2 tbs. very warm water
- Pan with high sides
The first thing you’re going to want to do is dissolve your 1 teaspoon of yeast into 2 tablespoons of very warm water. You don’t want it hot, but very warm.
Set that aside for a few minutes until you notice it start to foam.
Next, carefully pour 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide into your bottle followed by a little bit of Dawn dish soap and a few drops of food coloring.
You really don’t need to add much dish soap, about a tablespoon is good. Just swish it all around in the bottle once you get all 3 added.
Now it’s time to get back to the yeast. At this point, it should have some foam on the top of it. That tells you that your yeast has been activated 🙂
Using a funnel, carefully pour your yeast mixture into the bottle.
Quick tip: If you either don’t have a funnel or can’t find the one you know you have (ahem, like me 🙂 ), grab a piece of card stock and make one of your own. We rolled the card stock to make a funnel, taped it up so it would stay together and then cut it down so that it was a bit smaller. It works great and you can just toss it when you’re done 🙂
Finally, step back and watch the reaction!
Make sure that you keep your bottle sitting in your pan. Unless you want to clean up a bit foamy mess that is 🙂
Use different food colorings and give a try multiple times if you’re up for!
The kids will love the results! As soon as it starts pouring out of the bottle, you’ll understand why it’s called elephant toothpaste.
Your foam will come out in a nice thick stream and will snake all around the bottle.
Not to mention, on top of just being a really cool experiment, there are so many ways to incorporate this experiment into your homeschool!
For the preschool/kindergarten crowd, this would be the perfect opportunity to work on teaching secondary colors! Explain primary colors to your child and have them pick 2.
From there, add those 2 to your bottle, swish them around, and have your child try to guess which color is going to come out once those 2 are combined!