Make a Volcano At Home

This is a classic science experiment.  I never did make a volcano when I was a child, but my children have now done this several times and never grow tired of watching the reactions!

Make a Volcano at home with Crystal's Tiny Treasures

My children have been interested in volcanoes and other phenomena.  And reading Harry and The Hot Lava this week has erupted their curiosity once again.

 It’s fun to take them for a walk down by the sea where they can see basalt rocks in various shapes and sizes.  In fact, there is an almost unique volcanic phenomenon known on the North Coast of Northern Ireland where the cooling lava from long ago formed into hexagonal posts.  This area is known as The Giant’s Causeway.  There are legends and folklore associated with this area, but we’ll explore those another time.

Giant's Causeway Northern Ireland, Learning about volcanoes, photo

For the base of this volcano we used some clay.  The kids rolled it into a ball and then tried to sculpt it up a little into a cone shape before sticking a finger into the top, but not going all the way down through the bottom of their form.

You can start using your volcano right away as well as after it dries.  We’ve kept the volcano that the children made while attending their first home education meet-up at the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum.  Of course, every experiment with chemical reactions requires the use of protective eye wear, as the children reminded me.

Always wear protective eye wear when doing science experiments, fizzy science, easy science experiments for kids, photo

Let your children carefully put some baking soda into the hole in their volcano.  They can add a drop of food colouring to it as well, if they’d like.  We’ve run out of red food colouring, so they children decided they wanted to use yellow and blue for their eruptions.  They’re not entirely wrong, either, as not all active volcanoes are spewing red lava.

Aso-san volcano in Japan, science for kids, kitchen science, photo

When Mom came to visit me in Japan we made out way to the southern island of Kyushu and then rode a steam train to Aso-san (Mount Aso).  It’s a live volcano.  When the winds had shifted, we were able to walk up to the edge of it and look down inside.  This is what we saw.  Not at all what we were expecting!  A very exciting experience indeed.

Creating a chemical reaction with baking soda and vinegar, Crystal's Tiny Treasures, daycare science, childminding fun for preschoolers, photo

Now drip some vinegar into the hole and watch your children’s faces as they are fascinated by the chemical reaction taking place as the lave bubbles up and flows from their volcano.  This reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda creates carbon dioxide.  The pressure inside the volcano builds up until it has to rise up and flow out to relieve the pressure.

Baking soda and vinegar volcano science for kids, chemistry for kids, earth science for kids, photo

This is a hands-on way for young children to understand a little more about the earth and the world around them.  Have you tried this experiment with your children?

We love learning about science!  Our best experiments so far have been sink or float, and making our own thermal bottle covers.  For more ideas, see our science activities page.  And if you want to read a fun and imaginative book, try Harry and the Hot Lava! Happy learning!  Please see our Lava cake in a mug for a fun volcano-themed snack!

This activity is a cwist challenge.

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About Crystal McClean

I am a Mom, Wife, and Home Educator. We love to have fun together while learning and exploring our environment.

  • Emma @ P is for Preschooler

    I love the clay volcanoes! I never did this science activity when I was a kid, either, but my daughter loves it too!

    • Crystal McClean

      Isn’t it fun?! Have you tried other mixtures instead of just vinegar and baking soda?

  • Theresa (Capri + 3)

    I’ve been meaning to do this with our kids. It looks like your kids are having a ‘blast.’ : 0 ). Thanks for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday.

    • Crystal McClean

      It’s actually much easier and quicker than you’d think. And it’s not really very messy…Try it out soon, your kids will love it!

  • Carolyn Wilhelm

    Such young scientists! It is so great they can experience these wonders right at home and near your home!

    • Crystal McClean

      They love science, and I’m happy that they think about the glasses themselves for safety :-)

  • Jill

    This looks like a lot of fun mixed in with a great lesson !

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

    • Crystal McClean

      It’s so fun to see the looks of wonder on a child’s face when seeing things fizz!


    Just cant wait to do this with the grandkids

    • Crystal McClean

      Your grandkids would love to have fizzy fun with Grandma!