Elephant Toothpaste

You will need a few ingredients for this experiment:

  • A plastic bottle (1 Liter size)
  • 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution)
  • 1 Tablespoon (1 packet) of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water (not hot)
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Food coloring
  • Plastic cup and small plastic spoon
  • Safety goggles
  • Disposable aluminum tray
  • Funnel
  • Plastic gloves

To prepare for the experiment, pour your hydrogen peroxide into your water bottle ahead of time and shut the bottle tight with the lid (I preferred not to have several kids trying to pour hydrogen peroxide).

When the party has begun set a cup filled with 3 tablespoons of warm water, a small plastic spoon, a bag of yeast and the 1 liter bottle filled with hydrogen peroxide (with lid on) into an aluminium tray. Place one of these “kits” at every child’s place at the table.

Have the kids pour their yeast packet into their warm water and mix with a plastic spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved. Check to make sure they have dissolved their yeast before passing on to the next step. Once the yeast has dissolved set the cup aside.

In the hydrogen peroxide bottle help each child add a squirt of dish soap and a few drops of food coloring.

Once they have added the food coloring and the dish soap to the hydrogen peroxide, have everyone dump their yeast mixture into the hydrogen peroxide at the same time using a funnel (use a funnel to make sure that the liquid actually makes it into the bottle).

Then sit back and watch the reaction!! The liquid will begin to create a foam which will expand and pour out of the bottle and into your tray! It is pretty amazing to watch.

A few tips:

  • Make sure that the kids wear gloves and safety goggles.
  • Have them stand back once the reaction begins, it is better not to touch or play with the toothpaste. The gloves will protect their hands, but to avoid someone accidentally touching their mouth or eyes after touching the toothpaste, we had them “stand back and watch”.
  • DO NOT PUT A LID ON THE JAR once the chemical reaction has begun. One of the “helpers” at the party put a lid on the jar. It will explode!
  • This experiment is much better done outside. If you are going to attempt it indoors (which we have done before), then I would suggest just doing one kit for everyone to sit down and watch. It is much easier to control the mess that way.
  • HAVE FUN! This is a great experiment for kids!

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