Making a homemade volcano is a sure way to bust the boredom on a day when school is out. Your kids may at first balk at making a project that they consider educational, but once they see the volcano spew, they will be asking to make more.
Here are a few points to remember before beginning:
This exercise is quite messy and should always be performed outdoors or in a well covered area indoors (use a large tarp). Safety goggles should be worn by younger children who may be tempted to get too close to the explosion.
Before you begin making your volcano, you will need to prepare the lava solution. This can easily be made with household ingredients. An empty clear plastic soda bottle is ideal for mixing the ingredients. In the soda bottle, put about ¼ cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of water and just a few drops of dish detergent. You can add a few drops of red food coloring if you want to make the lava look red hot. Swirl this gently to mix the ingredients.
The next thing that you will want to do is to make your volcano. This can be made out of clay, paper mache, or even dirt. When you decide upon your building substance, create a mound around the soda bottle. Try using rocks or grass to make your volcano look more realistic. Build completely to the top of the soda bottle.
When your creation is complete, put about a tablespoon of baking soda on a small square of tissue. Use the corners of the tissue to wrap the baking soda into the shape of a small capsule. When all of the young geologists are ready, simply drop the baking soda capsule down into the opening of the soda bottle. Within seconds, your volcano will be erupting. Enjoy!