This kid-friendly experiment, nicknamed “Elephant’s Toothpaste,” is a fun way to teach little ones about chemical reactions. And while this isn’t really elephant’s toothpaste, it sure looks like a paste fit to brush their 6-foot tusks. Fun fact: An elephant’s tusks are actually teeth—elongated incisors, to be exact.
Ingredients for elephant’s toothpaste:
- Adult supervision
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- 1-liter empty plastic bottle (the ones at the grocery store filled with soda or sparkling water)
- 4 ounces hydrogen peroxide (12%)
- 2 drops liquid dish soap
- 2 drops food coloring of choice
- 1 package dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons warm (almost hot) water
- Small plastic cup
Instructions for elephant’s toothpaste:
- Put on your rubber gloves and safety glasses.
- Using the funnel, pour the hydrogen peroxide into the plastic bottle.
- Add the dish soap and food coloring to the mixture. Gently shake the bottle to combine.
- Add the catalyst for the experiment! Combine the water and dry yeast in the small plastic cup.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the plastic bottle and watch as the “toothpaste” comes to life!
How does an elephant really brush his teeth? For our long-trunked friends who reside at the zoo or animal sanctuary, their tusks are trimmed regularly to avoid injury. Staff members also inspect elephant teeth daily to ensure a healthy mouth.
For more fun animal facts, check out these resources: