Experiment Lets the Kids Get Messy: Learning About Catalysts

May 08

This is week 2 of my journey into the world of kids’  innovation and science. We’re back in the kitchen making goop (my kids like getting messy.) This particular experiment helps kids understand propulsion through the use of . Rocket fuel, for instance, is created when a catalyst is added to concentrated hydrogen peroxide and is used in jet packs to propel humans through the air.

But don’t worry – no kids will be flying across your kitchen.

Today’s experiment is called Elephant’s Toothpaste (don’t ask why, ’cause I don’t know).

It is taken from the book Science Rocks! by Ian Graham. (I highly recommend this book.)

Ingredients: empty plastic bottle, hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, food colouring, dry yeast, hot water, funnel, baking tray.

First - Measure 4 oz of hydrogen peroxide and pour into the bottle (which should be set upon the tray to minimize the cleaning later!) Then add a few drops of food colouring and a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

Let the kids do the measuring.

My boys chose pink dye.

A few drops of dishwashing liquid will do

Second - Mix a teaspoon of yeast with two tablespoons of hot water in a cup or bowl, then pour it through the funnel into the bottle. My kids thought it’d be fun to add some figurines into the mix, too.

Third - STEP BACK!

This kind of experiment is just what the boys love

Time to get the hands into it

I highly recommend this science experiment. It’s a big step up from the old  baking soda and vinegar trick and not a whole lot more work. As long as parents keep the mess contained within a baking tray, the clean up is swift, too. And by the way, I’d encourage you to include clean-up as part of the kids’ experiment (especially when the dishwashing liquid is so handy.)

Related Posts:

The Science of Slime for Innovative Kids


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  1. Great post! I’ve included it in my Best of the Blogs wrap up: http://www.bloggingboutboys.blogspot.com/2012/05/best-of-blogs.html

  2. Danielle /

    That’s wonderful! Thank you!