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How To Make Elephant Toothpaste

This science experiment was so much fun! Think squeezing toothpaste from a tube as fast as you can, but the toothpaste is big enough for an elephant! It is a really easy experiment, not needing many supplies and the kids absolutely loved it. Let me walk you through how to make elephant toothpaste!

In our home we like to make learning interesting! Part of doing that is by interactive lessons and experiments. Science is a subject you can really go outside of the box (or desk) and get your hands and brains involved with neat lessons!

How To Make Elephant Toothpaste

This science experiment can be done in a smaller tabletop scale, or you could go all out and do LARGE version outside! Be prepared, it will be a little messy.

It is worth it to hear the shrieks of excitement when the littles see the chemical reactions to mixing certain household products!

We use this time to educate as well, about the dangers of mixing certain things together. They can see how BIG the reaction is for elephant toothpaste so now they know that other reactions of mixed items are just as big, but in a dangerous manner!

 

What You Will Need:

  • Empty plastic bottle or container similar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Food coloring
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Dry yeast
  • Warm water
  • Baking sheet
  • Measuring cups and spoons

elephant materials

 

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into your bottle. 
  2. Next, add a generous squirt of dish soap into the bottle.
  3. For single color foam drop several drops of food coloring into the bottle directly. If you would like to make striped multi color foam, reminiscent to toothpaste, drop the food coloring on the inner rim of the bottle and allow them to drip down.
  4. To the side, mix 1 tablespoon of yeast and 3 tablespoons of warm water and stir until well combined. 
  5. Add yeast mixture in and watch the toothpaste appear!

toothpaste

 

The Lesson

Have the child make some predictions before you begin the experiment. What will happen when you combine these ingredients together? How far will your toothpaste shoot out of the bottle? How long will the foam last before breaking down? And ask the question after…does the tube feel warmer?

So what happened here? The hydrogen peroxide is unstable when it is exposed to light, hence why it is sold and stored in dark brown containers. When light hits the peroxide it decomposes it to water, H2O and oxygen, O2. Also, it will start to heat up! This is typically a slower process but with certain additives or catalysts the process can be sped up….fast!

Yeast being a catalyst enzyme will start working right away to turn the peroxide into harmless water and oxygen! Because oxygen is a gas it will turn into bubbles and mixed with your dish soap push upwards and outwards in a foam like appearance. Voila! Elephant toothpaste!

 

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Love, light and a little grace…

-Olivia