Magic Pepper and Soap Science Experiment for Kids

This magic pepper and soap science experiment is super fun and incredibly easy to do! Add it to your preschool or early elementary science lesson plans.

Pepper and soap science experiment for kids. Shows a plate with water and paper on it and the pepper has moved to the outer edges of the plate.

Pepper and Soap Science Experiment

I am telling you, this may be the easiest science activity out there! But that doesn’t mean it won’t WOW the kids. They may even think it is magical. That is, until they learn the science behind it.

*Note: As with all my other science experiments, this should be done with adult supervision at all times.

There is a video of this pepper and soap science experiment below that shows how to do it and you will see how simple it really is.

With hardly any help needed from teachers or parents, it’s an activity that can be done with multiple kids.

They will love trying it with different amounts of water and pepper. And they’ll experiment with various amounts of soap on their fingers as well.

It’s easy to wash the plate off and try it again with different levels of pepper and soap.

Easy Science Experiment and Recording Sheets

PLUS, it comes with differentiated recording sheets that students can use to record their findings!

One recording sheet only requires drawing predictions and observations, so it is very simple to use with preschool students.

The second version gives students a chance to write as well as draw their observations.

This magic pepper science experiment is definitely going to be a hit!

Easy magic pepper science experiment for kids.

Setting Up the Soap and Pepper Experiment

Our kids were able to set it up with no help from us. All they needed was a few household supplies.

Supplies Needed:

  • Plate
  • Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Black pepper


  1. To start, get a plate and fill it with enough water to reach the edges, but not overflow it.
  1. Add dish soap to a small bowl for the kids to dip their fingers into later.
  1. Liberally add pepper to the water. Experiment with different amounts of pepper to see if using more or less will change the outcome of the experiment.
  1. Now the kids will dip their finger in the soap and immediately touch the water in the center of the plate. They should see the pepper move quickly from the center of the plate to the edges.

The Science Behind This Experiment

When you add dish soap to the water it lowers the surface tension of the water. The water molecules try to stick together and move away from the soap while carrying the pepper with them!

This also gives a great visual as to why they should use soap to wash their hands. You can talk about pepper being a representation for the germs on their hands and how the soap causes those germs to scatter.

I hope your kids have a great time with this super cool pepper and soap science activity!

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Magic pepper science experiment for kids.

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