Toothpick Star Experiment For Kids

Toothpicks are made of dry wood.

Using the absorbing property of wood and the surface tension property of water, you can create a fun trick to impress your kids (or friends).

In this simple experiment, we will turn broken toothpicks into an expanding star.

Before you start, be sure to watch the video below.

The second part of the video has been sped up 4x times

So don’t be discouraged if your star doesn’t expand as fast as mine.

If you are getting new toothpicks for this experiment, try to look for the multi-color pack to make a colorful star!

Make a star using colorful toothpicks

Toothpick Star Trick Science Experiment

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This experiment is so much fun. See how the toothpicks glide into place to form a star right before your eyes.


  • 5 wooden toothpicks
  • water


  • a dropper or a drinking straw
  • adult supervision


  1. Bend the 5 toothpicks in the middle but do not break them completely.

    Toothpick Star Experiment uses 5 colored toothpicks and a dropper
  2. Put the 5 broken toothpicks in a circle with the broken points touching one another.

    Make a star using colorful toothpicks
  3. Carefully put a few drops of water in the middle using a dropper or a straw.

    Use dropper to put water into the center of the toothpick star
  4. Now wait and watch how the toothpicks glide into place to form a star!

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Did you try this project?

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Video: The second part of the video has been sped up 4x times. So don’t be discouraged if your star doesn’t expand as fast as mine.


When dry wood absorbs water, the bent wood fibres expand and unbend. As the toothpicks straighten out, they push against one another opening up the inside of the star.

But how does wood absorb water?

Wood absorbs water by capillary action, adhesion and cohesion.

These are the same factors that allow plants to carry water from the roots upwards through vein-like tubes to the leaves.

Want to see more about how wood and plants absorb water? Try this awesome Color Changing Flowers experiment!

Want more water science experiment?

Water science is so much fun.

Here are tons of interesting water experiments you can do in the sink or in the tub.

Toothpick star before and after the Trick - Science Experiment For Kids
A toothpick star is made by dropper putting water into the center - Science Experiment For Kids

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