Erupting Volcano

Erupting Volcano Project

Use things from around the home to construct a volcano and make it erupt using a chemical reaction.

Suitable for kids aged 5+, with adult supervision

You Need (for structure):
    What you need for this project will depend on how you choose to make the volcano structure. If you are in a hurry you can use moist soil or sand outside, or you can spend longer making a paper mache or foil structure. Each of these methods are descibed below.
You Need (for eruption):
  • Plastic cup, container or bottle
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Detergent
  • Red dye
What to do (volcano structure):
Moist sand or dirt volcano This is the quickest way to make your volcano. Just mound moist soil or sand outside into a volcano shape.
  1. Dig a hole at the top big enough to hold the plastic cup. This will later be used to hold the erupting chemicals.
Foil Volcano
  1. This takes a little longer than the dirt volcano, but not too much.
  2. You will need large paper plate, plastic cup, aluminium foil, sticky tape and scissors.
  3. Tape the bottom of the plastic cup to the middle of the paper plate.
  4. Cover the cup and plate with a large piece of aluminium foil and fold under the plate rim, secure with sticky tape.
  5. Poke a hole through the foil into the middle of the cup and cut slits in the foil to the inside wall of the cup.
  6. Fold and tape down the foil to the inside wall of the cup, so the cup is ready to hold erupting chemicals.
Paper Mache Volcano
  1. If you are creative and have a bit of time try a paper mache volcano. You can make it as elaborate or simple as you like.
  2. You will need cardboard base (about 1 metre square), plastic bottle (about 20 cm tall), strips of newspaper, large bowl full of flour and water paste mixture (3 parts flour to 2 parts hot water), masking tape, paint, volcano details (like grass, dinosaur figures, tree figures optional).
  3. Put the plastic bottle in the middle of the cardboard base and run strips of masking tape from the top of the bottle to the base. In a radial type pattern. This is the framework for the volcano. You can also put scrunched newspaper balls around the base of the bottle to strengthen the framework.
  4. Coat strips of newspaper in the flour/glue mixture and drape them between the masking tape frame.
  5. When the bottle and masking tape have been covered to your satisfaction (may need a couple of layers of newspaper strips) leave it to dry overnight.
  6. Paint the volcano structure and decorate with stones, pine needles, grass, dinosaurs models or whatever you like. Now its ready to erupt!
What to do (volcano eruption):
Sand/dirt or foil structure
  1. fill the plastic cup with vinegar.
  2. Add 5 drops of red dye
  3. Add 4 drops of detergent.
  4. And finally add two tablespoons of baking soda at once.
  5. Watch your volcano erupt!
Paper mache structure
  1. Pour about one cup of vinegar into the bottle.
  2. Add 10 drops of red food dye.
  3. Add 8 drops of detergent.
  4. Add four tablespoons of baking soda in one go.
  5. Watch you volcano erupt!
You can do this experiment and more using the equipment in the Chemical Chaos kit available for order on this website!