Did you know that you can have fun with your toothpaste outside of your daily brushing routine? We found this fun “elephant toothpaste” experiment from the family blog Come Together Kids that turns regular toothpaste into a foaming explosion.
This is a great experiment for children three and older.
Here is what you will need to make an amazing eruption that teaches your kids about science and what makes up toothpaste!
- ½ cup 6% hydrogen peroxide. This can be purchased at any beauty supply store like Sally’s or Mid-K.
- 2 tsp. of yeast. Fleischman’s should work fine.
- 3 tablespoons of warm water.
- Dish washing detergent
- Food coloring (optional)
- An empty 16 oz water bottle
- Safety Goggles (pool goggle will work too)
- Tupperware to have a safe clean experience
- Pour the hydrogen peroxide in the empty water bottle. If you have sensitive skin, consider wearing rubber gloves to avoid irritation.
- Add about 8 drops of food coloring to the bottle to give your experiment a fun color.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap to mixture and “swish” it around until the mix become homogenous
- In a separate container, combine the yeast and warm water. Whisk with a fork until there are no lumps.
- Using a funnel, pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and watch the crazy reaction take place.
- The foam is safe to touch but you might not want let you little ones go at it if you don’t want a big foamy mess on your hands. No pun intended.
What’s Going On?
The yeast slurry acts as a catalyst to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. This reaction occurs very quickly creating a lot of bubbles which causes the toothpaste to “foam”. This reaction is known as an exothermic reaction, meaning it not only created foam but also heat.
Another example of an exothermic reaction is the rusting of iron.