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
- 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.
- Dig a hole at the top big enough to hold the plastic cup. This will later be used to hold the erupting chemicals.
Paper Mache Volcano
- This takes a little longer than the dirt volcano, but not too much.
- You will need large paper plate, plastic cup, aluminium foil, sticky tape and scissors.
- Tape the bottom of the plastic cup to the middle of the paper plate.
- Cover the cup and plate with a large piece of aluminium foil and fold under the plate rim, secure with sticky tape.
- 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.
- Fold and tape down the foil to the inside wall of the cup, so the cup is ready to hold erupting chemicals.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Coat strips of newspaper in the flour/glue mixture and drape them between the masking tape frame.
- 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.
- 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
Paper mache structure
- fill the plastic cup with vinegar.
- Add 5 drops of red dye
- Add 4 drops of detergent.
- And finally add two tablespoons of baking soda at once.
- Watch your volcano erupt!
- Pour about one cup of vinegar into the bottle.
- Add 10 drops of red food dye.
- Add 8 drops of detergent.
- Add four tablespoons of baking soda in one go.
- 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!