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Mad Scientist

Elephant Toothpaste

Did you know that some scientists make potions? Well, kinda. They're called "chemists." They don't create the types of potions you see witches or warlocks making in the movies, with crazy ingredients like worms or wolfsbane. Instead, they use different kinds of chemicals to create entirely new substances when combined. It's a little like magic. Chemists are behind many of the inventions and advancements that have shaped our lives, from the batteries that power our devices to the cleaning supplies and sanitizer we're all using so often right now. Today, you'll learn more about chemists by becoming one yourself, and you'll get to make a special chemical reaction of your own when you create elephant toothpaste!


what you’ll need

  • Your Camp Kinda toolkit
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% or 6%)
  • Dish soap
  • An empty plastic bottle
  • A funnel (optional)



Ask About Today

What is a chemist and how do they help the world? What is a chemical reaction?

Dinner Discussion

What would you call your brand of elephant toothpaste and who would you sell it too? Which other animals could possibly use it?

Skip the Ads

Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


45-60 minutes


Blowing Stuff Up and Breaking the Mold

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Dr. Kate Biberdorf is real-life chemist who specializes in breaking stereotypes and blowing stuff up. Meet her (and check out some chemistry in action) in this video from Great Big Story.


Meet Mad Scientist Bill Nye

One of our favorite scientists of all time is Bill Nye! Join him as he takes us on a wacky ride through the world of chemicals.


6 Chemical Reactions That Changed History

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Did you know that cooking food over a fire involves a kind of chemical reaction? It's true—and that particular reaction is pretty important to our everyday lives. Watch this video from PBS to learn about other ways chemistry has shaped our world.


Elephant Teeth

In this adventure you'll be making some elephant toothpaste, so you should probably learn a thing or two about elephant teeth (including their tusks, which are actually giant curving teeth). Open wide!


Play Alchemist

Little Alchemy is a science game where you combine elements to create new ones! Start by mixing and matching the first four basic elements to create new ones. (We’ll give you a hint: water + earth= mud!)

The first few may be easy, but there are 580 combinations for you to find, so take your time. We’ll be playing all week, so you can either sign in to start and close it out each day OR keep this tab open so that you can return to it whenever you like!


History's Mad Scientists

History is full of mad scientists—people whose imaginations and experiments stretched the bounds of science, sometimes in bizarre ways. The story of Frankenstein, for example, was inspired by a real 17th century alchemist named Johann Conrad Dippel, who lived in Castle Frankenstein. Let's meet a few others!


30-45 minutes


Make Some Elephant Toothpaste

Let's put chemistry in action and make elephant toothpaste!

Note: Both older and younger kinda campers should be able to do this activity, but younger campers will need more help from an adult.

Adult Supervision Required

Share your work! We'd love to see it. Ask a parent to email a photo or video to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.


15-30 minutes


Cardio Challenge

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Science takes stamina! Get your heart pumping with this fun family cardio challenge. See if you can do it twice!