San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum celebrates National Chemistry Week throughout the month of October! Every day throughout the month, young visitors can make dye, craft a battery out of everyday objects, and participate in various chemistry experiments. Our Science & Engineering (STREAM) Stations are made possible by a National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE) grant.
Chemical reactions are part of everyday life. At the Museum, we believe that by teaching the basics of chemistry at a very young age, we can help children better understand the world around them -- and give them the tools to succeed. As early childhood STEM educators, we know it’s important to foster science skills early on in a child’s life, from problem solving to critical thinking, observations, science literacy, and more.
If you can't make it to the museum this month, there are plenty of simple and fun experiments that can be done easily at home. Little Bins for Little Hands has quite a few activities that are safe and simple for our young chemists (with adult supervision of course!). One of our favorite experiments to do with young kids is called Elephant Toothpaste.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Elephant Toothpaste:
- 3-6% Hydrogen peroxide (1/2 cup)
- Yeast (1 tsp)
- Warm water (2 tbsp approx) in a small dish
- Food coloring
- Dish soap
- Empty soda/water bottle (small)
- Tray to stand the bottle on to catch the foam
- Optional: Goggles
- Mix the yeast into the water in a separate bowl to “wake up”
- Pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle
- Add a little dish soap and food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide in the bottle
- Add the yeast mixture to the bottle
- Stand back and admire the reaction
To further celebrate National Chemistry Week on October 21-27, the Museum will be hosting several pop-up style workshops throughout the week. These are surprise, hands-on, chemistry-based workshops included with Museum admission. Be sure to stop by and check it out! Maybe these workshops will also give you inspiration for some chemistry experiments to do at home.
See you soon!
Karina Coscuna is a chemistry-loving educator at San Diego Children's Discovery Museum. She enjoys teaching kids of all ages about the world around them.