Easy science experiment for kids: Cool magic trick with styrofoam

Here follow my instructions for the magical disappearing styrofoam experiment. This experiment does only takes a couple of minutes, but it is truly fascinating.

Remember to start the experiment with a hypothesis, what do you think will happen?

Instructions for parents: Read this first.

Material included:

  • Small pieces of styrofoam
  • Acetone

Additional things you will need:

  • A glass


  1. Pour a little amount of acetone into the glass
  2. Dip a piece of Styrofoam in the acetone. What happens?

This experiment can be performed as a magic trick. Preferably use long and thin pieces of Styrofoam.


WARNING: Please, keep in mind that acetone is highly flammable and must not be handled anywhere near the open fire. Acetone may be hazardous to inhale after repeated exposure. It may also cause a headache, and it is dehydrating on the skin.

Throw away the Styrofoam lump in the trash after it has dried.


Styrofoam is a plastic that contains large quantities of air. When acetone is added, the molecular bonds between the plastic molecules break, and the plastic gets compressed to a lot more lightweight mass.


To see others do the experiment look at this video:

Click the link to get to my Kids Christmas Calendar.

Do you have any questions or comments about the experiment? Just leave a comment below!



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