Free Science Experiments > How to Make a Volcano

How to make a Volcano Experiment!

Our lava might have been home made but the real stuff comes right out of volcanos!  Let’s have a go at making our own volcano with a twist!   

TOP TIP: An awesome extra idea is to decorate your volcano so it looks realistic, paper mâché and paint and all the rest!  Here I just want to show you how to make sure it works – so your volcano erupts with a bang!

What do I need?

  • Washing up liquid
  • Vinegar
  • Cup or glass
  • Baking soda

How do I do it?

STEP1 – Fill your glass just over half full with water, add 3 tea spoons full of baking soda and give it a good stir until most of the baking soda dissolves.

STEP2 – Add a good squirt of washing up liquid into the cup and once again give it a stir. 

STEP3 – Make sure your volcano is in the kitchen or outside (or somewhere you don’t mind making a mess).

STEP4 – Quickly pour in just under a quarter of a cup of vinegar and enjoy your very own volcanic eruption!

What’s going on?
Congratulations - You just made your very own chemical reaction!  Mixing the acid (vinegar) and the alkali (bicarbonate of soda) and releasing bubbles of carbon dioxide CO2.  The washing up liquid is just there to trap those bubbles so it flows over the ‘volcano’ like real lava!

More Fun Please! -  Experiment like a real scientist!

  • Try different amounts of both the vinegar and the baking soda and try and make the perfect eruption!
  • If you’re feeling brave (and are somewhere where it’s ok to make a big mess) then add some red food colouring into your mixture before you add the vinegar to make it look just like lava!

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