This Elephant’s Toothpaste science experiment is such a fun and exciting experiment that little learners will love!
Make Elephant’s Toothpaste
So for this experiment, you need:
- 450ml plastic bottle
- 1/2 cup of 20 volume (6%) solution of hydrogen peroxide liquid (I used a full 100ml bottle)
- 1 TBSP dry yeast
- 3 TBSP warm water
- 1 TBSP liquid dishwashing detergent
- food colouring
- small cup/bowl
- safety googles
This experiment can be quite messy, so we did it outside. You could do it on the table inside, but make sure you put the bottle in a tray of some sort, because the toothpaste does overflow!
Also, be careful when using hydrogen peroxide. I didn’t let my boys touch this, I carefully poured it into the bottle while they stood back as it can irritate your skin and eyes. And make sure you are wearing your safety goggles!
- First, pour the hydrogen peroxide into the 450ml bottle.
- Add about 8 drops of food colouring
- Add the dishwashing detergent and swirl the bottle a little to mix the ingredients so far.
- In a small cup or bowl, mix the yeast with the warm water.
- We used a funnel for the next bit to make it a little easier. Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and watch what happens!
As you add the yeast mixture, you will notice that it starts to foam.
And the foam keeps coming out of the bottle and as it does, it looks like toothpaste coming out of a tube, which gives this experiment the name: Elephant’s Toothpaste!
It is so much fun watching the mixture foam and disperse out through the jar!
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How does this work?
When you added the yeast, it helped to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. By removing this oxygen quickly, it created lots of bubbles. If you touch the bottle while it is foaming, you will notice it is warm. You have created an Exothermic Reaction as it creates foam and heat.