Elephant Toothpaste: The Perfect Science Experiment For Kids
When you hear the words "elephant toothpaste," what comes to mind? What sort of imagery do those two words conjure up in your mind? You might think of an elephant's dental hygiene, and we can't blame you for that. But the truth is, elephant toothpaste has nothing to do with elephants or teeth. Rather, it's a term used to describe a fairly popular science experiment.
A number of YouTube personalities have tackled this experiment, and for good reason. It's simple enough to do at home, and the result is both unexpected and fascinating to watch. So what exactly does this experiment entail? And what do I need if I want to give it a shot at home?
You can get these answers and more from YouTube channel NetCast Tricks, which is run by "an ordinary guy trying different tricks and experiments that I probably shouldn't be doing." The channel is filled with simple science experiments and a number of potential science project ideas — if you're looking for that sort of thing. In December of 2011, he tried his hand at producing elephant toothpaste at home. The video has been viewed some 700,000 times, and the comments section is filled with viewers who expressed interest in the experiment and were eager to try it themselves.
Here's how it all goes down. First, gather your ingredients. You'll need liquid dish soap, yeast, and salon-grade hydrogen peroxide. What is that and where can I get it? In the video featured below, our experimenter uses 20 Volume Clear Developer from Salon Care. Asia Citro, author of "The Curious Kid's Science Book," used the same product when she did the experiment with her daughter.
Now that you've got everything you need, it's time to put on your safety goggles and get started. Fill a plastic water bottle with half a cup of the hair product and then add a bit of dish soap. You can also add food coloring during this step if you'd like. Now, in a separate container, combine a tablespoon of yeast with three tablespoons of hot water. Stir it up until you have a smooth concoction.
Ready for the best part? Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle, take a step back, and find out why they call it "elephant toothpaste." Basically, the yeast eliminates the oxygen from hydrogen peroxide, which in turn creates a copious amount of bubbles and results in foaming, according to Science Bob.
This is a great science experiment for kids, just make sure to take proper safety precautions before beginning the process. Watch the video below to get a feel for how it all works, and be sure to let us know how it goes if you try it out at home.