Like many kids, mine love anything that bubbles and foams. We've done glow in the dark bath paint, bubble snakes and color explosions and they have all been winners. This experiment only required me to buy one thing I didn't already have on hand (hydrogen peroxide), and now I have it so we can do this another day too.
My kids totally oooh'd and aaah'd over this activity and it kept them entertained even after the initial experiment was over. We did it a couple of times--once with my daughter while my son was napping and then again when he woke up.
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To make your own elephant toothpaste, you will need the following:
- 6% (20 volume) hydrogen peroxide (also known as developer in a beauty supply store)
- dry active yeast
- liquid dish soap (not antibacterial, such as Dawn)
- food coloring (optional)
- an empty water bottle (about 16 oz)
- a funnel
Set your water bottle in the middle of a 9x13 pan. Using the funnel, pour 1/2 c. hydrogen peroxide into the bottle. Add 4-5 drops of food coloring and a couple squirts of dish soap. Swirl it together gently. I wouldn't recommend having your child do this part unless you feel confident they won't spill or lick their fingers if they get stuff on them.
Pour the yeast into the bottle through the funnel. (Again, something your child could do.) Remove it quickly as the reaction will start right away and enjoy the crazy foam!
A few things:
- The foam is totally safe to touch! The peroxide gets broken down in the reaction, only leaving water and oxygen behind.
- The reaction is exothermic, which means it gives off heat. You can have your child touch the bottle and they will feel the warmth. Pretty cool!
- 6% (20 volume) hydrogen peroxide is a bit of a specialty item, which you can buy at any beauty supply store (or order it online on Amazon by clicking the link). The kind you buy at the store is only 3% and it will still produce a reaction, but it won't be nearly as impressive.
This was such a fun activity! My kids loved it and I loved watching them love it.
I hope you have as much fun as we did!