Science Fun Activity: Growing Yeast

Did you know that yeast, the substance that makes bread rise, is a living thing that grows? Try this fun science experiment, and then make some delicious bread!

Watch Yeast Grow — Blow Up a Balloon!

When yeast grows, it releases a gas called carbon dioxide. When yeast is mixed into bread dough, it creates millions of tiny gas bubbles that grow — and make the bread rise. Kids can help (with supervision): pour in warm water, add and “swirl” yeast, add and “swirl” sugar, blow up the balloon.

You will need…

  • A small, clean plastic bottle
    (16 oz. or smaller)
  • A small balloon
  • One packet of yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Warm water
  1. Put about 1 inch of warm water into the bottle. (Warm water helps yeast “wake up.”)
  2. Add yeast and swirl for a moment to dissolve.
  3. Add sugar and swirl again. The yeast begins to get active and “eat” the sugar, which gives it energy to produce gas and grow.
  4. Blow up the balloon to stretch it out. Release air and stretch the opening of the balloon over the top of the bottle.
  5. Let the bottle sit in a warm place for 20 minutes. As the yeast grows and produces gas, the balloon inflates.
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