Skip to main content

COVID-19 Updates — September 23, 2022 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here.

Magic Potions

Discover the science behind all those magic potions.

Back to Activity Finder


  • What ingredients do you need for your potions?  
  • Is there any safety equipment required?  


Colour Changing Potion  

  • 500ml Water 
  • 6g of Sodium Hydroxide 
  • 9g of Sucrose 
  • While stirring, add a little potassium permanganate in water 
  • The solution should go through a series of colour changes.  


Rainbow potions  

  • Fill seven glasses with a small amount of red cabbage juice.  
  • Add a drop of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup- what colour does it change to?  
  • Do it again with Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda), what colour does it change to now?  
  • Experiment with more drops, can you make a rainbow?  


Smoky Bubbles 

  • While running warm water into a sink, add some dry ice.  
  • Add a squirt of dish detergent and some food colouring.  
  • Continue to run water- the dry ice should produce coloured bubbles that are filled with smoke that burst overflowing the sink.  
  • Make sure to run warm water until all the dry ice is dissolved or it can freeze the pipes


  • What did you learn about the potions?  
  • What other experiments could you try?  


  • Disposable gloves 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Water  
  • Sodium Hydroxide 
  • Sucrose 
  • Potassium Permanganate 
  • Red cabbage juice  
  • Lemon juice/ vinegar 
  • Baking Soda  
  • Dry Ice
  • Oven mitts   
  • Dish Detergent  
  • Food Colouring  

Keep it Simple

Try making a snow volcano/ volcano  

Take it Further

Take it a step further with Elephant Toothpaste