Thursday, July 5, 2012

Elephant Toothpaste

Knowing that the boys had school holiday coming up, I began to look around for some fun indoor activities for rainy days.  Being a girl, I headed straight to Pinterest hoping to find some fun, new ideas.  I lucked out on a couple of different websites, especially one that had science experiments for children using pantry staples.  The boys and I decided that the one called Elephant Toothpaste looked like fun.  Luckily for me, I had everything handy except for the higher strength hydrogen peroxide, which was easy enough to find.

We had lucked out for the first week of the holiday and last Saturday was especially brilliant.  Sadly this week has not been the same story.  We did have one beautiful day where the kiddos and I went for a walk down to the beach and ran into some friends at the playground, but the rest of the time has been duck weather.  So we forged ahead making the toothpaste.  The boys were excited.  I had read through the process several times and felt confident I was ready to assist.  Everything seemed straightforward and the science seemed to make sense.  Admittedly, I'm probably not the best source to say it seemed scientific, but Brian agreed - and he graduated with a physics degree.

We started out with 2 empty and cleaned 600mL bottles.  We could have used a 2 litre, but of course the boys wanted different colors of toothpaste, which was fine.  In went the food color, hydrogen peroxide, and a bit of Dawn.

Not so happy about the camera, but you can see Nath's missing teeth

Next it said to put in the yeast mixed with water and quickly remove the funnel.  The liquid was supposed to bubble up quickly and then look like toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube by an elephant.  However, here is what we got:

It's a pretty good sad face, no?

I decided that I was smarter than a children's science experiment, so I mixed up another batch of yeast and water, waited 5 minutes, and then poured it in to each boy's bottle.  We anxiously waited for a few more minutes until -

Sorry for the thumb in front of his face.  He threw that in at the last minute.

So even though it didn't perform as expected, the boys had a good time with it.  I'm not sure how it could have been done better - maybe a higher percentage hydrogen peroxide or more yeast?  If it worked better I would've linked back to the site.  It's not hard to find on google and maybe you can find a better one.  Here's one more picture of our end result:

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