Easy Volcano Eruption Experiment for Kids (3 Methods & Beautiful Results)

Are you looking for an easy fun and intellectual science experiment for your kid’s science fair!? If yes, then you are on the right page where you will get three easy simple and super fun experiments that works better as a science project. What’s that!? It’s a ‘Volcano making’ at home with your kids.

After watching a documentary on television regarding volcanoes, aroused an interest to create fake volcanoes. Immediately I shared my idea with my girls of 5 and 7 years old. They were very excited by listening the name itself. That is how I started experimenting this super fun activity at home.

Suitable For

Volcano making can be a lot of fun for a summer family project. This fizzy science experiment gives young children an exciting and learning experience as they watch and learn about incredible geological formations while experimenting volcano. This is a perfect activity for  3-4 year olds5-6 year olds and up. Even preschoolers can enjoy the activity by watching.

Method-1: Making Volcano using Baking Soda and Vinegar
Thinks we need

You will need few simple things that you can find in your home or stores easily. The supplies required to mimic the lava that of a real volcano are listed below:

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Procedure
Add baking soda volcano

1) Take a ready-made Volcano or you can make it at home using plastic bottles. Fill the volcano with white marble stones to give it a colorful look as well as kids can get better view on the white background.

2) You can also decorate around the volcano with some kid’s toys to make it more attractive and catchy. Adding kid’s toys to the volcano also grabs kid’s attention as toys are never boring for any kids or even adults. J

3) Find some private space since the volcano eruption makes a mess. As we are using ready-made volcano plate, hopefully the mess is only inside the plate.

4) Do some preparations or trials before you start the actual experiment in order to learn proper amounts of ingredients that decide how big your volcano should be!

5) Now my elder daughter Prithika added required amount of baking soda (one of the magical ingredients) into the volcano. She is always interested in adding ingredients. In one way, it helps her to learn more about mixing and measurement concepts.

6) Seeing her sister, my younger one Tisha (5 years old) also excited and got ready to add ingredients to the volcano. She added few drops of food colouring. 1-2 drops of food colour gives nice colourful effect to our volcano.
Add food color to baking soda

7) Then add a few ml of dish wash soap to the volcano carefully.
Adding soap liquid volcano

8) Now for the eruption, add another magical ingredient i.e. vinegar to the volcano.
Add vinegar to volcano

Kids started clapping and shouting by seeing the amazing volcano that is fizzing and frothing out of the volcano set up. This amazing and wonderful volcano is resulted with the reaction of baking soda and vinegar.
volcano using baking soda

Tip:

If you want the larger eruptions, increase the amounts of baking soda and vinegar. That’s it so simple and fun included. Kids will enjoy to take on a sense of pride for their achievement.
Erupting volcano go science girls

Now let us jump into the second method of making homemade volcano which is as simple as first method.

Method 2 Volcano in the bowls using same ingredients
Erupting-volcano experiment for kids

Making homemade volcano is a fun science activity for kids. All you need is to provide enough space for volcano to erupt. So you can create volcano using anything from the kitchen but it should be wide enough. Here we are going to create volcano using wide enough bowls and the same magical ingredients.
what we need

  • Baking soda
  • Soap liquid
  • Food colour
  • Vinegar
  • Bowls (make sure the bowls are neatly washed as the volcano is not formed if there are any other chemical substances which may get react and form other reactions)

Procedure
adding soap liquid and baking soda to bowl

1) Take four bowls and arrange them neatly on the work table or work place. It is suggested to take the bowls in a wide and big plate so that the eruption will flow or spread wide area and be within the plate.

2) Add different food colours to four different bowls so that it gives different coloured volcanoes. My daughters are excited to add their favorite colours. In fact this is their most favorite step in every activity we does (if there are chances to add any colours while experimenting).

3) Now add dish soap liquid in required amounts to each of the bowls. Be careful while adding dish soap liquid especially with the kids. Ask your kids to wash their hands properly if the dish soap is touched to their hands. If not it may go into their eyes when they rub mistakenly.
getting volcano

4) Finally add vinegar to get the volcano eruption in the bowls. As my kids already knew about the vinegar’s reaction in this experiment, they were very excited to add vinegar. My elder one took the chance adding vinegar to the bowl. You can see the colourful volcano after vinegar is added. This is due to the reaction between baking soda and vinegar.
Erupting volcano

Kids were fascinated watching the mimic done by vinegar in the last resulting in amazing and colourful volcano in all the four bowls.
colorful volcano

This is the simple and easiest way to attract or fascinate the people at the science fair.

Method 3 Creating Volcano experiment with Lemon

Make lemon volcanoes (ideal experiment) along with your kids using kitchen ingredients. The end result is wonderful that leaves a surprise on kid’s face. This is another easiest method to create colorful volcano using lemons. Let us see how we can amaze children using lemon.

Materials required
Things we need

All you need are:

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Instructions
Adding food color baking powder

1) Take a medium sized lemon and cut into 3/4th using butter or cutting knife.

2) Squeeze out the seeds and some lemon juice (leaving some juice) with the help of spoon or fork.

3) Add few drops of food colour to the inside of the lemon. Choose some bright colours to see bright and colourful lemon volcanoes. We used red orange and yellow food colours to get orange-red lava! Kids enjoyed watching bright display of volcanoes.  

4) Put some baking soda on top of the lemon to see the amazing results.

5) Use spoon or fork to let the baking soda inside the lemon.

As soon as you add the baking soda to the lemon, there happens a chemical reaction again between the lemons (acidic in nature) and the baking soda (base). This chemical reaction leaves a gas known as carbon dioxide which is responsible for the frothing and fizzing of the eruption coming out of the lemon.

My kids felt this as very simple and easy activity to create colorful volcano and they are very much attracted to lemon volcanoes. They have done this activity thrice to satisfy their excitement. J
Lemon volcano

Science behind the colorful volcano eruption

A volcano is a typically conical mountain or hill that has lava coming out from a magma chamber under the surface of the ground. The materials include in the volcano are lava, gaseous sulfur compounds, steam, heat, broken rock pieces and ash. The volcano erupts and explodes all these materials out when there are right conditions like high temperature and pressure.

However, in our home experiment of creating fake volcano gives an idea of how a volcano looks like when the lava erupts. This is a simple classic science experiment works based on a chemical reaction and showing physical volcano eruption. The chemical reaction is nothing but a reaction between the baking soda and vinegar results in the release of a gas called carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the same gas which is used in sodas for the purpose of carbonation. You can observe the same reaction what you see when the soda bottle is shaken up and remove the bottle cap. The pressure created while shaking make the gas molecules to spread out as there is no enough space to spread, it comes out of the bottle when the cap is opened. In the same way, the carbon dioxide released (because of the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar) builds up enough pressure inside the volcano finally results in the eruption in order to exit the bubbles.

In other words, the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar is said to be an ‘Acid-Base Reaction’. Because the chemical reaction is happening between the acetic acid (vinegar) and a base (sodium bicarbonate). The acetic acid (a weak acid) reacts with and neutralizes the base (sodium bicarbonate). The gas released during the reaction is the carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the main culprit for the fizzing and bubbling of the wonderful ‘eruption’.

Obviously it not the real volcano but it is a cool thing to watch and learn about volcanoes visually.

This project takes not more than 30 minutes to complete. I could say that it is a classic science experiment because kids will get to learn chemical reactions and observe what is happening when a volcano erupts. Sounds cool right!!? Did you know the carbon dioxide gas released during the experiment is also present or produced during real volcanoes!! Hope you all enjoyed to learn about colorful fake volcanoes in three different methods. Happy experiment!!

Please Note ...
This is an easy activity that kids can make on their own but still parents have to keep an eye on their kids while performing the activity.  The baking soda, vinegar and food coloring are completely safe for children to touch and experiment. However, just be aware that the experiment results (the lava) are not edible. Please be mindful that toddlers are attracted to colorful things and they may try to taste them. We always suggest to have parental supervision while trying science experiments. Learn more about it here

Different Erupting volcanoes

Some Q&A for your interaction with kids

How does a volcano experiment work?

In our experiment, baking soda and vinegar are the magic ingredients to create a volcano at home. When the baking is combined with the vinegar, there happens a chemical reaction producing a gas called carbon dioxide which causes a volcano to erupt (looks similar to the real volcano eruption). The carbon dioxide gas creates pressure to throw out the gas bubbles inside the volcano thus exit the volcano like real ones.

How much baking soda and vinegar do you need to make a volcano?

We always have to be very careful while adding ingredients in right amounts in order to get our wonderful results. We may not get our desired results if we miss to add right amounts of ingredients. In our experiment, we require 2 table spoons of baking soda to mix in 1/4th cup of vinegar to erupt a beautiful volcano at home.

How do you make a glowing volcano?

Take your chemical volcano project to the next level and make it more exciting by creating glowing volcano. For a glowing lava, use tonic water instead of vinegar and a black light. You can also use both the ingredients i.e. take equal quantities of vinegar and tonic water to make erupting glowing volcano under a black light. Tonic water consists of fluorescent compound called quinine, which is responsible for glowing volcano eruption. The other way to create glowing volcano is to wrap the volcano around the tonic water bottle and just drop the Mentos candies into the bottle. You can see the amazing glowing volcano at home. One more method to see colorful glowing volcano is to mix the chlorophyll with vinegar. The chlorophyll when expose to ultra violet light, starts glowing in red. Hence, you can see the red glowing volcano.

What is the purpose of the baking soda and vinegar experiment?

You see a lot of bubbling and foaming while erupting volcano. Formation of bubbles and foam is due to the combination of baking soda and vinegar. When the baking soda (a base, sodium bicarbonate) is mixed with the vinegar solution (an acid), there happens a chemical reaction releasing a gas known as carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is unstable and fills the volcano with a lot of bubbles. Due to the pressure builds up in the volcano due to carbon dioxide gas, the gas bubbles gets exit the volcano like a real volcano eruption.

Baking soda and vinegar volcano explanation? or What causes the vinegar and baking soda to react?

Both the ingredients are responsible for the chemical reaction because baking soda is a base (called sodium bicarbonate) reacts with the vinegar, an acid producing carbon dioxide.

Is using baking soda OK for kids?

According to the studies, using baking soda is completely safe since it is mild and unscented for kids. Baking soda has both the alkaline and antiseptic properties that soothes the acidic nature of skin and protects it from infections. It tastes bitter so kids obviously would not like to put in their mouth. However, it is always good to take extra care while using baking soda very often.

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Delightfully Fizzy Sherbet

In our edible science sections, today let us look at the easiest way to make sherbet not the ordinary version but a fizzy version.

Kids can have colorful sherbet with joy!

Delightfully Fizzy Sherbet - fun science activity for kids

We will always watch out for science exhibitions and will pack our bags to visit them with family. We always wanted to make our kids learn science in a fun way. With the same enthusiasm sometime back we attended a science exhibition and really had fun and learned so many concepts.

 

This is where I got some ideas of making sherbet fizzy version at home. It is because we could not stay for long as we had a long way to drive back home.

We know that this experiment was missed on that day. So what, I am doing it at home. This is the way I did and I want to share it with you all. My kids felt really glad we did this at home.

How to make fizzy sherbet - edible science that kids can make (and eat). Kids love this! From Go Science Girls

Suitable For

Edible science fun activities help kids to understand chemistry in an easy way. These reactions are great to see in real-time. My elder one was 5 years, 4 months and the younger one was less than 3 years old.

I tried this with them and both had fun in a different way. Elder one learned many concepts as well. So do not worry about the age and you can try with kids at any age. They will learn things based on their knowledge. 

I got inspired from the recipe posted in CSIRO site and used that with some modifications to make my sherbet fizzy version. Actually, this site is a good one which has many DIY activities for kids to learn science.

What can you expect from this sherbet? Fizzing sound, great flavor, sweet taste, and really fun. I have posted this in my collection of activities that can be done in less than ten minutes, because it does take not more than 5 minutes to prepare this sherbet.🙂

Fun Science Fact

How does it make a fizzing sound? It is because of the reaction that happens chemically between the acid and the base. Which is the acid here? Yes, citric acid. What about the base? It is the baking soda. Both these react with the water present in the saliva and make a sound as well as bubbles in the tongue. The bubbles are nothing but CO2 – carbon dioxide.

What will you require to make this sherbet fizzy version at home

( As usual, we used things available at home or got it from my nearby store. However, posted the online links for your reference.)

Homemade sherbet ingredients

  • 1 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 tsp citric acid
  • 3 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flavoured jelly crystals
  • bowls & measuring spoons

Check out for citric acid and baking soda at your local store where you buy things to make sponge cakes. Don’t worry about the name of baking soda as it is called bread, cooking soda or bicarb soda. Citric acid is a usual preservative which is added to food for giving a sour taste can be added without any worry.

 

The powdered version of sugar is called icing sugar which you can prepare by just grinding the sugar crystals in your mixer. I always do this as it is cost-effective. There is no difference from this one and the one available in the shops but for the cost. I prefer a cheaper and healthier version always.

Blend regular white sugar into superfine icing sugar

Steps to make this sherbet 

1. Measuring the ingredients

Involve your kids and ask them to measure all the ingredients as mentioned in the above section. Monitor and guide them based on their age to do this work. Talk to them and explain about measuring and thee taste of different items. Also, ask them to guess the taste when all are mixed.

Measure, pour and stir - kids making sherbet in the kitchen
2. Mixing and tasting!

Let them get all the ingredients on the table and ask them to do the mixing work. This work they truly love and my two kids used to fight for doing this. Allow them to lick every time when they mix one item and tell the taste. For instant sugar will taste sweet, citric acid will be sour. The crystals with different flavor and color will make them look great and taste differently. When all this mixed with baking soda kept on the tongue will produce the fizzy sound and feels great.

Edible Sherbet: Science that kids can measure mix pour and taste - Go Science Girls

We tried with the following flavors with different colors. Yes, jelly crystals are the owner of this coloring section.

 

  1. Yellow – pineapple
  2. Pink – raspberry
  3. Orange – Orange
  4. Blueberry

Kid-made sherbet fun kitchen science

This sherbet, when made for the first time, will add a lot of pleasant surprises to you and will activate our sense organs. The colors for eye, taste for the tongue, and much more. You can see them soapy and fizzy, taste them sour and sound fizzing. Overall you will get a new experience.

 

Remember to consume them in small quantity as too much will make you feel kind of unpleasant. Do not panic, however. Just a caution though. Let the kids lick to have fun.

How to make sherbet: fun acid base chemical reaction science activity for kids

Additional point is that this homemade sherbet has a long shelf-life. Yes, they are good to be stored in airtight containers for ages. Make sure it is dry to retain its life.

 

I also tried spraying this sherbet to Tisha’s strawberry salad and she was so happy to eat a new fruit. Yes, she got convinced that it is a new fruit. This way you can make kids eat a variety of things adding this as a flavor to it.

It’s time to share details to have additional fun. Yes, click here for more ideas and all these can be tried at home with things available in the kitchen.

 

Some more for you

 

  • With just 3 items Laughing Kids Learn has posted a sherbet recipe which you must try.
  • Try making glass with sugar at home to teach about original glass making process from the sand.
  • Learn with Play at Home has shared interesting lemonade making the recipe and that is fizzing too.
  • One more experiment with acids and bases is presented in the Anzac Biscuits making a post.
  • Left Brain Craft Brain has explained about polymers in its fruit gummies making DIY.
  • Make cupcakes with this glowing frosting recipe from The Kitchen.

 

Check out Pinterest for more ideas Edible Science Activities. Also, follow us on Go Science Girls board

 

Are you excited to make sherbet with your kids? Choose the color and the flavor from the below picture. Yes, you can have great fun with kids.

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