It’s an age-old experiment that most people are somewhat familiar with but many may not know exactly how to recreate the spectacle.
Volcanoes are one of nature’s most beautiful, and devastating, phenomenon. They spur on so many questions. An easy way to teach and talk about them – or just have fun – is to create your own volcano using household ingredients and some imagination.
By the end you can create your own volcano and set up some massive eruptions!
-Plastic cup (You can try a water bottle, but a plastic cup works better)
-3-4 tbs of baking soda at least (if you use 4-6 it makes your eruption extra foamy and will do 2-3 eruptions)
-1 tsp of dish soap
-1/2 oz to 2 oz of washable paint, depending on the intensity of the colour desired
-1 cup (8 oz) of Vinegar to start with per eruption
Start off by combining the base ingredients. Put the water inside the plastic cup. Fill it about 2/3 full. Add the baking soda, dish soap, and washable paint. By using washable paint, you don’t have to worry about any staining of the rocks (or little fingers) that food colouring might cause. You can also use liquid watercolour as well, but it doesn’t work nearly as well as the washable paint.
Try to find a good location to build the outside of your volcano. Pea gravel, sand or even earth can be used to form your volcanic mountain – you can be artistic with the shape.
While you mix the base ingredients, have your teammate make the mound. Once you have a mound, put the cup on top of it, and turn it into a mountain.
Now that everything is in position give the base ingredients a good stir before adding the final element: vinegar. Pour in your vinegar until your mountain starts foaming over and the lava starts pouring.
For added entertainment you can mix the colours and add all sorts of different shades of washable paint to the cup, then wait for the eruption to see the result. Remember, you can pour the vinegar in about three more times before needing to add more baking soda to the solution.
Proven to be a hit, this experiment will no doubt lead to huge amounts of entertainment for the family, after all it’s not every day you get to see a volcano erupt at close quarters and live to tell the tale!