Simple Chemistry

Confession: I escaped 18 years if education without taking one single chemistry class.  I’m thinking this explains my love of all things reactive when it comes to activities with my kids.

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Today’s reaction?  “Elephant’s Toothpaste.”

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I mean c’mon?!  That just sounds cool. Usually my activity list is pretty simple requiring little in the way of supplies, but I also try to plan accordingly when the random special ingredient comes up.  In this situation, that special ingredient was 6% hydrogen peroxide found at a beauty supply store.  (There may be a beauty supply store next to the craft store… I’m just sayin’.)

Materials:

  • 1 baking sheet with a rim
  • 1 16 oz. soda bottle
  • food coloring
  • 1 package yeast diluted in 2 tbsp. warm water
  • 1 squirt dish soap
  • 1/2 cup 6% hydrogen peroxide solution

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Our yeast was crazy old, so our reaction was less dramatic than it might be with brand new yeast… but Eleanor was still thrilled.  Add the hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of food coloring to your bottle.

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Squirt in your dish soap.  When ready, add the yeast and watch what happens.

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I was hoping for a more explosive reaction, but this was still pretty cool.  Eleanor was delighted by the slow progression of the elephant’s toothpaste and was eager to try it again.

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For someone who’s closest encounter with chemistry is mixing vinegar with baking soda, I was down with this reaction.  I liked the fizzing and the erupting and the experimenting.

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I think… Eleanor did too.

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xo

Charlotte

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