We are not the only family who believes that summer should be a season of STEM activities for kids. In fact, many families do STEM and science activities in the summer (check out my science summer camp if you need some new ideas). Still, although we have tried hundreds of science projects, we had yet to try the classic Ivory soap science experiments.
How? I don’t know, but if you are looking for the easiest science experiment ever, definitely try the Ivory soap science experiment.
Classic Ivory Soap Science Experiments
Use this experiment as a jumping off point for more soap science experiments, like the soap-powered boat science project!
This project is so, so simple. First, I asked Monkey what she thought would happen when we heated the soap in the microwave. She said she thought it would melt.
So, we heated the Ivory soap in the microwave to see what would happen. It took about two minutes before the soap stopped expanding. I bought our soap a while ago, so I don’t know if it would have expanded even further if it was new (which could be another science experiment!). We heated our soap several times to see if it would keep expanding, but it stopped after a minute or so, probably because all the moisture dried up.
For some reason, I thought the soap would feel soft and squishy after heating, but it didn’t. It was hot, but still hard.
Why It Works
Ivory soap expands because it has enough air to keep the soap floating in the bath. When the air gets hot, it expands, forcing the bar of soap to inflate and puff up. If you like, try microwaving other kinds of soap to see what happens. Which soap has the biggest reaction?
More Science Fun
Kitchen Science Kit from Parenting Chaos
Sparkly Fizzing Jello Explosions from Preschool Powol Packets
Science Project Ideas from Steve Spangler Science