Backyard Science Fun That Will Have Kids 'Exploding' With Joy

Kids will love these 3 explosive (and messy!) experiments

By Macaroni KID May 23, 2023

Looking for fun, educational science experiments to do at home this summer? These three STEAM backyard experiments are easy to, do but have big results! 

They're also all great to do outdoors because they have EXPLOSIVE results!

 Alohalika via Canva 

Exploding Soda, With Mentos

What you need:

  • Diet Soda. Any brand or flavor will work. We recommend diet because it is sugar-free and won't create a sticky mess.
  • Mentos. Any color or flavor. Both mint and fruit flavors work.


1. Leave your soda bottle out in the sun for a bit because warm soda tends to explode more. Find a nice outdoor grassy location. Remove the cap from the soda and get ready. The more Mentos you get into the soda bottle before it starts exploding, the higher the soda plume will be. 

3. Quickly drop a few Mentos in the soda bottle and watch it explode!

The science behind it:

The Mentos reacting with the soda creates a rush of carbonation. This is the perfect example of why you never mix chemicals without knowing the result, because they could have an exploding reaction! 

 Vladimir Bolokh via Canva 

Elephant Toothpaste

What you need:

  • Empty 20 oz. soda bottle
  • 3 tsp. Dawn or another liquid dish soap
  • 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide (available in almost every grocery or drugstore)
  • Packet of active yeast (found in the baking section of the grocery store)
  • Warm water
  • Safety goggles (the hydrogen peroxide can irritate eyes!)
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Pour the hydrogen peroxide into your bottle. Add the dish soap and mix.
  2. If you want to make your toothpaste a color, add a few drops of food coloring.
  3. In a separate cup, mix together 1 Tbsp. of yeast with 3 Tbsp. of warm water. Mix for about 30 seconds to make sure it's well combined.
  4. Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle then step back quickly! The reaction will happen immediately.

Helen Partlow

Exploding "volcano"

What you need: 

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. baking soda
  • baking sheet
  • plastic or paper cup
  • food coloring (optional)
  • 1 tsp. dish soap (optional)


1.  Add baking soda to your cup. (Make sure to always keep your cup on the baking sheet to make clean up a breeze!)

2. Pick your colors and add into the cup.

3. Add liquid dish soap to the cup. This will create fun bubbles!

4. Add the vinegar and ... watch your volcano erupt!

The science behind it:

Helen Partlow, publisher of Macaroni KID Greater Port Jefferson, N.Y., shared this experiment with us. She told us: Vinegar is an acid and the baking soda is a base. When they combine it's a chemical reaction and it creates carbon dioxide, which is a gas that bubbles everything up and out of the cup! The food coloring and dish soap just add extra flair!