It’s October which means that pumpkin season is in full effect. We enjoy STEM activities year round, but in October we like to do activities with pumpkins. Without a doubt, our favorite is pumpkin elephant toothpaste. It’s the same experiment as regular elephant toothpaste. The only catch is that instead of doing it in a bottle or glass jar, we do it inside of a pumpkin! It’s fun and exciting, plus the experiment uses readily available ingredients. In this post I will show you how we make it through our experience. Plus, I’ve included a free printable with detailed instructions below!
Here’s What You Need
- Hollowed out pumpkin
- 1 cup (4 oz) 6% hydrogen peroxide. We used a 20 volume clear developer (liquid).
- Food coloring
- 6 tablespoons of warm (not hot) water
- 2 packets of active yeast
- 2 tablespoons of dish soap
- Recycled plastic water bottle, jar, beaker, etc.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Safety goggles
You can certainly use a generic hydrogen peroxide, but we wanted something a bit more concentrated. We were able to find a 20 Volume Developer (liquid version) at our local Sally Beauty Supply. We also doubled this recipe for an even bigger reaction.
We have done this experiment almost half a dozen times, and it never gets old. My soon-to-be two year old even got in on the act this time around, and he was truly amazed. What I love about this experiment is that while there are quite a few steps, it still doesn’t feel complicated. In order to make things a bit smoother, I went ahead and set out all of the ingredients ahead of time and did most of the prep work. So, when it was time all we really had to do was pour ingredients into the glass hiding inside our smiling pumpkin.
While tempting, we avoided touching the “toothpaste” because it is a possible skin irritant. Before I knew that, I let my kids play with it (once it cooled) and they were fine. However, if your child has sensitive skin you may want to avoid touching it altogether.
Will you try this fun experiment with your kids?
Let me know in the comments if you try this fun pumpkin elephant toothpaste experiment with your kids!