Volcano….who isn’t intrigued by them. They are so mysterious and beautiful at the same time. My kids are fascinated by them not only due to the movie Moana- man, starting to sing the song ‘Your Welcome’ now, but also because they blow up. Kids love things that go ‘Kaboom!’, at least my kids do 😉 Why not take this obsession for all things volcano and make it educational?!
So, exactly what are volcanoes? Volcanoes are mountains that have an opening to molten rock located below the earth’s surface. When pressure builds up around this molten rock, the volcano erupts. The pressure around the molten rock is released through the opening in the volcano. Lava is molten rock that has reached the earth’s surface through the volcano’s opening. As we all know, lava is extremely hot. It is melted rock after all! Now let’s get to the hands-on part 🙂
In this activity, we decided to use a volcano we had already constructed and make it ‘erupt’. My kids loved being able to use a volcano they had designed. The basic construction of the volcano is all up to your child. Let them use their own creativity to decide how they want it to look. We decided to use an air drying clay, but you can also use play dough or basic modeling clay. If you want a tutorial on how to construct your very own volcano, check out this post where we did just that!
This activity can be done in one day with the volcano construction or broken up over 2 different activities. In this one, we will be focusing on the ‘erupting’!
2tbs Baking Soda
6 drops Dawn
Food Coloring (for Lava color)
Empty 8oz or 16oz water bottle, depending on size of volcano
Paper plate or dish for collecting ‘lava’
First step is to decide which water bottle size will fit nicely under your constructed volcano. Next, add water to the water bottle, leaving just a few centimeters of air. Add 4-6 drops of food coloring to the water. Then add about 6 drops of Dawn soap to the bottle. This next step can be done with a funnel if you have one. We decided to just go with the ‘pouring it in the best we can’ method. Using a spoon, we added about 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the water bottle.
Before the last step, Eruption Step, we carefully placed the water bottle under our constructed volcano. Then set it all on a paper plate. The kids added a few extra touches to their volcanoes, aka figurines haha! Now for the real fun! Carefully pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into then volcano opening…and watch the eruption take place!
My kids had so much fun with this activity! Below, I have included a link that has more volcano tidbits for those eager to learn more.
Does your child want more volcano fun? Check out this Lava learning activity!