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How to make a craft volcano explode

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How to make a craft volcano explode
July 08, 2019 Carefree Crafting 1 comment


Watching a homemade volcano erupt is a very exciting experience for young children as they watch and learn about the amazing power of these geological formations.

Making your own homemade volcano is really simple and requires basic material that you can find around the home.

Recently after reading a non-fiction book about volcanoes and earth quakes, it aroused an interest particularly about volcanoes with Miss 4 and 5.  There was a number of questions and some misconceptions so we went on to explore these questions and then onto making our own homemade volcano.


What you will need?

You will need an empty plastic bottle (this is 1 litre bottle), newspaper torn up in strips, PVA craft glue, masking tape and a container for the water and glue mixture.

To make the lava to mimic that of a real volcano you will need bicarbonate soda, red and yellow food colouring (or orange) and white vinegar.



To make the basic shape of a volcano I cut the middle of the plastic bottle out and then overlapped the two ends together securing it with masking tape.  To give the volcano a more pyramid/mountain shape I then rolled newspaper into a tube shape and wrapped it around the base of the plastic bottle and securing it all with masking tape.


Time to get messy: applying Paper Mache to our volcano using small strips of newspaper dipped into a gluey water mixture.  We also folded a small amount of newspaper into the opening of the bottle but making sure there was enough room to add our bicarbonate soda and vinegar later.

Tip – keep some old flannels or cloths handy for the kids to wipe their hands on.


When the Paper Mache was dry, Miss 4 and 5 set to work to paint the volcano.  We had watched a few videos on You Tube about volcanos and it was decided that the volcano needed to be black, dark grey and a little bit of brown.    While we were waiting for the paint to dry we had a practise run to see how much bicarbonate soda and vinegar would be needed for the homemade volcano.   To give you a bit of an idea, we used 4 tablespoons of bicarbonate soda and 1 cup of vinegar mixed with some red and yellow food dye and this seemed to work fine.


Sifting the bicarbonate soda into the funnel and about to pour in the vinegar… have to be super quick to get the funnel out.  Miss 5 was standing by ready to grab it after Miss 4 poured in the vinegar.


Our homemade volcano fizzing and frothing as the bicarbonate soda and vinegar react together.

Making a homemade volcano is a fun and simple process that kids will take on a sense of pride, ownership and achievement of what they have accomplished.  All this while learning new things and practising some basic skills with an almighty eruption at the end.  We repeated the eruption 3 times!


Some simple facts about volcanoes:

  • A volcano is a mountain that erupts.
  • Rock under the earth’s surface is so hot that it melts.  This melted rock is called magma.
  • Erupting magma is called lava.
  • Volcanoes become bigger every time they erupt as the lava cools and makes a new layer of rock.
  • Volcanoes can erupt under water and form new islands from the cooled lava.
  • Volcanoes can be found on the moon and other planets.
  • There are more than 500 active volcanoes on Earth.


More Ply Ideas 

As a result of this activity, my kids were very intrigued about how bicarbonate soda and vinegar react together –  Here is an activity to extend this learning through making Homemade Honeycomb.  Click on the image to see the full post!


Some great books about Volcanoes for Kids 

Look Inside Volcano by DK

The Best Book of Volcanoes by Dr Simon Adams

My Mouth is a Volcanoe by Julia Cook


LIKE THIS POST  Come join the many playtimes here on Learning4kids, please enter your email address in the subscription box to receive updates right to your inbox!

How to Make a Volcano Model | John Seach

The model below is an example of a simple, effective way to recreate a volcanic eruption.

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Warning: Be careful when handling ingredients. Children should be supervised by an adult. Ingredients should be kept away from eyes.

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Volcano model made using these instructions - John Seach
This model was erupted live on TV.

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small drink bottle
60 ml water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/4 cup vinegar
orange food colouring
few drops of detergent
small square of tissue.

Making the eruption
Place the water, soap, food colouring and vinegar in the drink bottle. Wrap the baking soda in the tissue and drop into the bottle. The volcano model will then erupt.

For extra realism
The volcano can be made more realistic by enclosing the structure in home made play dough. Mix 6 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 4 tablespoons of cooking oil, and 2 cups of water in a large bowl.

Mix the ingredients by hand until smooth and firm. Build up the mixture around the drink bottle to create the mountain. Lava channels and vegetation can be built around the volcano.

The chemical reaction

NaHCO3 + CH3COOH → Na+ + H2O + CO2 + CH3COO-

Carbon dioxide is released creating the fizz.

How to Make a Model Volcano Erupt: Model volcanoes are a staple of student science fairs. They can also be a lot of fun for a summer family project. Making a.

It's time to upgrade the good ol' baking soda and vinegar volcano science project.

Whether your volcano is made out of papier-mâché, clay or cardboard, it could probably use some extra creativity. The erupting volcano has long been a science fair staple, but with a few bells and whistles, you can turn it into an even more impressive project. From sparkly explosions to ketchup lava, many have managed to dress up their volcanoes and take it to the next level.

See also: 11 Ways to Make Science Fun for Your Kids

Below, we've rounded up seven fun ways to make your volcano science project even better.

1. Glow-in-the-dark volcano

Glow-in-the-dark anything never gets old. So, why not create a glow-in-the-dark volcano?

Rather than using baking soda and vinegar, the students in the Vine above used diet soda and a roll of Mentos candies for their experiment.

If you want a higher eruption, diet soda and Mentos are an alternative to baking soda and vinegar, but it isn't the trick to making your project glow. In fact, the key is to shine a black light on tonic water that has the ingredient quinine, a chemical that glows blue-white under black light.

For full directions, click here.

2. Ketchup lava

Most volcano science projects use red food coloring and jello to represent lava. But these sometimes produce quick volcano eruptions. For a slower, more exciting volcano eruption, use ketchup instead.

Since ketchup has vinegar (a dilute acetic acid), which reacts with baking soda (a base), this is an acid-base reaction experiment. When you mix baking soda with the dilute acetic acid in ketchup, carbon dioxide gas is produced. This is what will make the bubbles rise and fizz steadily to the top of the volcano.

For full directions, click here.

3. Sparkly explosion

Make your volcano explode and glitter at the same time.

For full directions, click here.

4. Dry ice volcano

If you're looking to create a smoky effect, dry ice is the way to go.

All you have to do is place a cup or container of boiling water inside the volcano, and use gloves or tongs to drop dry ice into it. To avoid dry ice leaks, make sure the bottom of the cup or container is secure. The hotter the water, the better the smoky eruption. You'll see the dry ice slowly bubble and form water vapor, which will flow out of the volcano for several minutes.

For full directions, click here.

5. Snow volcano

Papier-mâché, clay and cardboard aren't your only options for building a volcano. If it's a snowy day, take your science project outside, and you've got yourself an icy volcano. The upside? There's less of a mess.

For full directions, click here.

6. Lifelike wax volcano

For those interested in building a lifelike volcano, wax is a great alternative. The video above goes through the steps of how to create a realistic representation of a volcano in a glass beaker with red wax (chopped up from a candle), sand, stone and water. This experiment is helpful in visualizing the real process of a volcano eruption.

7. Chemical eruption

Note: When handling ammonium dichromate, you should wear gloves and safety goggles.

This chemistry experiment is for the serious volcano builders. Rather than using household products, you can use ammonium dichromate, an orange crystalline substance. When the chemical reacts to heat, it decomposes and emits sparks that look very similar to a volcano eruption.

For full directions, click here.

Make A Volcano!

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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 olds, 5-6 year olds and up. Even preschoolers can enjoy the activity by watching.

Method-1: Making Volcano using Baking Soda and Vinegar

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:

[*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]


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.

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

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


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.

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

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.

  • 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)


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.

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.

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

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

All you need are:

[*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]


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

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. 

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.

Disclaimer : This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

How to Make a Model Volcano Erupt: Model volcanoes are a staple of student science fairs. They can also be a lot of fun for a summer family project. Making a.


Take science outdoors with a SANDBOX VOLCANO! When the weather is nice, try simple science experiments outsidefor a real hit with the kids. From pulleys to homemade ice cream, to bursting bags, this baking soda volcano is one of the coolest and easiest science activity for kids. Simple science and STEM activities are perfect for young kids.



We do love all things that erupt and have been exploring a few different ways to create eruptions while having fun through play. Science that fizzes, pops, erupts, bangs, and explodes are pretty awesome for kids of all ages.

When the weather is nice, it’s an awesome idea to take STEM and science outdoors! Building a sandbox volcano is definitely an outdoor science activity with a quick clean up.

What we really love about science activities or demonstrations like these, is the extra play factor that is organically included. You can see what I mean at the end of this post.


sandbox with sand {make sure to try our sand slime too.}


baking soda


16oz water bottle

food coloring (optional)

*You can also try adding dish soap for an even foamier fizzing eruption. Just a few drops is all that is needed.


Fill water bottle about a third full (mix in optional food coloring)

Add about 5 teaspoons of baking soda

Put the cap on until you are ready

Build a sand mountain around the bottle

Uncap the bottle

Pour a good amount, probably a cup of vinegar into the bottle

Get out of the way and watch the huge eruption!

How Did We Get such An Awesome Sandbox Volcano Eruption?

Volume. It was as simple as a good amount of vinegar into a small amount of water filled with baking soda! We repeated it several times to test our theory. 

When the baking soda and the vinegar mix they form a gas called carbon dioxide which then produces the fizzing eruption. The shape of the container helps to shoot the eruption up higher because the gas is easily forced out and up due to the narrow opening.

This chemical reaction occurs because of an acid {the vinegar} mixing with a base {baking soda}. When the two combine the reaction takes place and the gas is created. If you added dish soap, you will notice a more foamy eruption like in our watermelon volcano.


We still enjoyed many small sandbox volcano eruptions too! Make sure to check out a complete few different ways to create eruptions to try.

Another favorite to check out: Blowing up Balloons with CO2!

The heavy machines were standing by ready for work!


We have been working on simple science concepts. Repeating similar types of experiments builds knowledge and reinforces learning skills. Young children need simple concepts repeated for greater understanding.

Try a few ways and you will be amazed at how much they remember. This will build confidence for new learning experiences and curiosity to try new experiments!









Filed Under: Summer

how to make a craft volcano explode

How to Make a Papier Mache Erupting Volcano for the Science Fair - Red Ted . Education Activities for Kids Educational Crafts, Educational Activities For Kids.

how to make a craft volcano explode
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