Elephant Toothpaste {Science Experiment}

We absolutely love any kind of craft that involves coagulating, exploding, bubbling and goo. We do. I’m just as bad as my kids, I think. I get all excited and do the “whoo hoo, what’s it going to do now” stuff. My poor neighbors. They have to listen to that all summer.

This was a great one to do. And the oohhhs and aahhhs were so fun!

My son was at his friend’s house so my daughter wanted to do something “special” since we had mommy daughter time.  We looked through my giant “things I want to make” list and this is what she picked out – Elephant Toothpaste.  This idea came from Preschool Powel Packets.

You will need:
* soda bottle (empty)
* tray or cookie sheet
* 2 Tbsp. warm water
* 1 tsp. yeast
* 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (it should be a 6% solution and not the 3% solution from the grocery store.  I’ll show you why in a minute.  But it can work with the3% if you can’t find the other.)
* 4-5 drops of food coloring
* liquid dish soap

Add the hydrogen peroxide to the empty bottle.  Squirt in a little of the dish soap and swirl around to mix.  Add 4-5 drops of food coloring.

In a small dish, mix the warm water and yeast.  Stir until well dissolved.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and watch it grow!

My daughter LOVED this!!!

Here’s what it was like with store bought hydrogen peroxide (3%).  (Still super cool.)

We thought it was so cool we ran to the beauty supply store when my son came home and bought 6% to see if there truly was a difference.

Here’s the science part of it:
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) naturally breaks down into water and oxygen.  It is stored in opaque containers to help slow down this process.  Catalase (an enzyme in all living things, including yeast) speeds up the reaction.  Dish soap catches the oxygen and makes bigger bubbles and the food coloring makes it look cool.  The foam and bottle feel warm because the reaction is exothermic–it releases energy as heat.

I’m linking to the parties on my sidebar.

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  1. Thank you thank you…science fair is this Thursday and we needed a cool project!! He likes it

  2. What a fun project! Thanks for sharing this with us:)

  3. I’m helping to plan a Mad Scientist party and this would be super fun for the kiddos! {Must pin}

  4. I love this idea I will have to use this with my activity night kido’s

  5. So so neat! Love it! Life at your house must be so fun.

  6. Great Idea! Also, awesome blog! 🙂

  7. You are a cooler mom than me, I would be all “get outside with that!” then I would watch from the back door and make the hubby clean it up!

  8. This looks fun! My kids will love it!

    Thanks for posting!

  9. This looks like so much fun and great for a rainy day!

  10. This looks like a blast! You are such a great mom:)

  11. this made me just laugh – that look on your daughters face is PRICELESS!!

  12. Oh man I love all your fun ideas! I found you via blog train!

    Blissful and Domestic

  13. Very fun! My kids love to get messy. Stopping by from ABC and 123. I am a new follower on GFC and Pinterest. Hope to see you at True Aim.

  14. Looks great! Using the 6% really does make a difference. We made ours red and used it as volcano lava. Still a hit! This one never gets boring 🙂

  15. looks fun! I’ll have to try it with my boy!

  16. This looks like a great project to do with your kids are bored during the summer. I bet you’ll be doing this one more than once! Thanks for sharing at Your Cozy Home Party so other parents and grandparents can find it!

  17. This is going on the to-do list for summer! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

  18. How fun! My kids will love trying this!

  19. How cute! She looks like she is having a blast! Punn intended!

  20. Oh, how fun!! It looks like all of you love this kind of experiment! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  21. This is a fun one! The full blown chemical reaction gives off a lot of heat. You can see our class do a large scale demo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5LGdz24M3w

  22. Hi – Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve had it pinned for a long time and last week we got around to doing it at last – it was fabulous! I posted some pictures here:

  23. This beyond cool. I will have to make this with my kids for sure. This is even better the the Coca Cola and Mentos experiment. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Hey everyone,

    Love this experiment, but my 11 year old cousin is present next month and we want a cool project but what is it show casing? What would this be for an experiment at a science fair.

  25. Where do you find the 6% peroxide?

  26. gertrude franklin says:

    if you were going to do this for your science fair how would you record the data

    • Yoikes. I’m not sure. It depends what you are trying to prove or measure. We did it with different strengths of hydrogen peroxide to show the difference. Now sure how to measure that. Maybe weight of foam outside of the bottle?

  27. Cheese with Noodles says:

    This looks awesome, I’m going to try it with my kiddos at work! I work with children on the autism spectrum, and I know this will really excite some of them. It will also be a good sensory experience if they play around in the foam. Thanks for the idea!


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