I usually turn to Pinterest to gather ideas and let Jonah pick out a photo of an activity that sparks his interest & imagination. Last month he picked out a fantastic science experiment that I'm sure we'll do again with all kinds of crazy variables when he's older and able to "hypothesize" to questions like: What do you think will happen? Do you think it's cold or hot? If we add more will the reaction get bigger or smaller, slower or faster?
The actual experiment as found on Pinterest is called Elephant Toothpaste. You can find the original recipe & instructions at Preschool Powol Packets. I changed the name to suit the particular interest of my 3yr old. He's more enamored of Dinos right now than pachyderms. This worked to our favor. The Dollar Tree had inflatable dinos, several types in fact. And...the Tyrannosaurs had teeth - even better! Of course, the Dollar Tree sells tooth brushes, so we were all set for our big play date. Jonah could hardly wait: he was parading his floppy green dino around that morning even before it was blown up. Imagine his delight when he saw it inflated!
One word about the recipe: when it says "a squirt of soap" I don't think you can use too much. I'm hypothesizing our reaction would be even bigger or more dynamic had I used more soap (or maybe a water bottle with a smaller neck/opening). Next time!
This stuff holds its shape for quite awhile - also fun.
Jonah needed no prompting - he knew just what to do with his tooth brush, the "toothpaste" and his dinosaur. He got to work right away brushing "big teeth."
Of course, there are health & hygiene lessons that could be taught at this point. We didn't opt to go that route but I could see this working in a classroom environment making it "fun" to teach kids about oral hygiene and why it's important. Clean up is simple & easy since it is mostly soap!
In small container mix:
2 Tbs warm water
1 Tsp yeast
In water bottle mix:
1/2 Cup hydrogen peroxide (must be at least 6% solution; I used 9% Clear Developer from Sally Beauty Supply)
4-5 Drops food coloring (not gels)
Squirt of dish washing liquid
Add yeast mixture to water bottle & watch the reaction!