While exploding a volcano is fun, erupting elephant toothpaste is super fun! Kids love to watch it pour out of the bottle and make picks of warm, foamy liquid. I just did this for a group of kids for science camp and it was a hit.
- warm water
- hydrogen peroxide (20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid – this is a 6% solution found at beauty supply stores)
- liquid detergent
- 16 oz. bottle
- food coloring (optional but really looks cool)
- pan to catch the run off with 2″ sides
- goggles and smock to add to the drama of being scientists(optional)
- paper towels to wipe off hands
I prepped beforehand:
- A small bowl with 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide for each child or for as many times as you want to do this.
- Another small bowl for 1 teaspoon of yeast with 2 Tablespoons of warm water.
With help from the children, have them stir the yeast into the water. When there are no dry spots, it time for fun!
Explain that they are going to create a chemical reaction. Show them the bowls of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide looks like water but it has many uses and is safe for them to touch. For our toothpaste to have some bubble, we need to add a squirt of liquid detergent to our hydrogen peroxide.
I did this outside to make it easier for clean up but it can be done inside. Do one child at a time, it adds to the excitement to watch the eruptions. Once they have on the goggles and smock, like a scientist, have them place the funnel over the bottle and pour the hydrogen peroxide mixture in.
Then hand them the secret ingredient – the yeast mixture. Once they pour the yeast mixture in the bottle, watch what happens! You can ask them beforehand, “What do you think will happen?”Just like real scientists have them make hypothesis of what they think will happen in the experiment.
It’s great fun to watch and everyone wants to touch it. Kids love to discover that it feels warm and the bottle is warm to the touch too! Enjoy!