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Kids Science Experiment: Elephant Toothpaste

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On a snowy Saturday at the branch a few kids came out to try a cool experiment I'd been talking about all week. ELEPHANT TOOTHPASTE!! Too cool.

This exciting experiment is a great example of a reaction that occurs when you combine certain chemicals together (kid-friendly of course). 

At first I decided to give the experiment a test run and as a result I didn’t get the reaction I was quite looking for. Something I used was off. Well it was the bottle I used. It was just too big (2 liter soda bottle).

Learning from my mistake, I decided to do the experiment over. This time I allowed the children to get involved so if the experiment failed again we could come up with a solution together. After all it is a learning experience. 

Here are the ingredients we used.

  • 16 ounce plastic soda bottle
  • 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of luke warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon of dish washing liquid
  • Food coloring (optional but adds the WOW factor to the end result)
  • Something to catch the mess

On the second try we first put the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle followed by 8 drops of food coloring of their choice. Next we added the dish washing liquid and gently shook the bottle to mix the chemicals. Next we added the packet of yeast and water to a separate cup and mixed them together (for about 30 seconds). And for the grand finale we poured the yeast into the bottle and watched the foaminess explosion begin! 

The experiment turned out to be a success and we got the reaction we were looking for. The kids enjoyed the greenish foam they had produced and were quite fascinated by the whole thing. 

Check out our branch page for updates on future Kid Friendly projects. Browse the library catalog for more ideas.

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