Reindeer toothpaste, could there be a better activity for this time of year? Christmas is coming and kids are super excited as they countdown the days to the sleigh bells on the roof. But those reindeer need to have sparkling clean teeth for the big day, right? So we set out to make some extra special reindeer toothpaste!
Christmas Elephant Toothpaste Experiment
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When it comes to learning science, repetition is often one of the best ways for kids to really grasp certain concepts. So when we find a great experiment that the kids love and teaches some fun lessons, we like to reimagine it. This way we can do the same experiment, but with little twists.
The best part, is that each time you do these experiments, the kids will come up with new questions, ideas or future twists on a beloved experiment.
The Original Experiment “Oops”
When we tried to do our Reindeer Toothpaste Experiment the first time it failed miserably. Instead of a nice foamy toothpaste like eruption, we had this weak, bubbly mess.
See the first time we tried this festive version, we decided to add some glitter and little metal bells. Turns out our metallic glitter and the metal bells caused our chemical reaction to not work!
Once we discovered that, and removed all the metal, we had the best, most festive, toothpaste to ensure that all the reindeer have healthy teeth this year!
SAFETY NOTE: This toothpaste should never be ingested by humans! If your kids are too young to understand this, do not do this experiment with them.
So let’s make some Reindeer Toothpaste!
Reindeer Toothpaste Tutorial Video
Check out this video tutorial of the experiment. If you can’t see the video, your setting are preventing our video feed. You can also watch it over on the STEAM Powered Family YouTube Channel.
To make reindeer toothpaste you will need:
Plastic bottle or Erlenmeyer flask
Green food dye
Mint essential oils
Plastic glitter (we recommend biodegradable options!)
Hydrogen peroxide 3%
Large container – I used a casserole dish
SAFTEY NOTE: Make sure kids use safety goggles and even protective gloves and clothing are a good idea! Also, this is never to be ingested. If your children will try to put this reaction near their mouths or be unsafe in any way, do not do this experiment with them.
How to Make Reindeer Toothpaste
Clean and dry a 1 litre pop bottle or Erlenmeyer Flask.
In a measuring cup, I found it easiest to use one with a pour spout, mix 1 tbsp (1 packet) of dry yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water. Let it sit to the side and “bloom” while you do the next step.
In a measuring cup, measure out 150 mL of Hydrogen Peroxide. An adult can do this step if the kids are not ready.
Add a few drops of green food coloring and mint essential oil. Finally add a squirt of dish soap. Stir it gently.
Set the bottle or flask in the centre of the large shallow container. This is going to get messy and you want to contain the mess!
Make sure the kids are ready, it’s reaction time!
Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle or flask. If you need to, you can use a funnel for this step.
Watch your Reindeer Toothpaste erupt!
The foam is a lot of fun for the kids to touch and explore. It is warm and allows you to talk about chemical reactions and exothermic reactions.
Speaking of which, let’s chat some science!
The Science of Reindeer Toothpaste
In this reaction the yeast acts as a catalyst to speed up the breakdown or decomposition of H2O2 into H2O (water) and H2O (oxygen). The dish soap traps the oxygen producing the foam. The reaction also releases heat which means it’s an exothermic reaction. For more on the science behind Elephant Toothpaste and the chemical formula, check out this Elephant Toothpaste Experiment.
This is a fun twist on the traditional Elephant Toothpaste for the holidays. Enjoy making Reindeer Toothpaste this season!
Want more fun science for the holidays?
Try Crystal Growing and make Gnome Ornaments with Crystal Beards.
Or maybe a fun and simple festive chemical reaction is what you need for your lessons today.
Maybe you need a little art to combine with your chemistry in this fun tree decorating activity that turns into a chemistry lab.