At the twins’ elementary school, one parent decided to create an after-school Science Club. It’s fantastic and the kids are having a great time experimenting with all kinds of different things.  This month’s project? Volcanoes!

They each received a chicken-wire frame that they added strips of fast-drying plaster to flesh out the “mountain.” Then they painted it and brought it home, along with the ingredients (baking soda and vinegar) to blow it up.

E put all her baking soda in the inner core and dumped all the vinegar in at once. It bubbled over quickly in a flash-eruption. It didn’t really look like lava, but it had a lot of pizzazz.

C put in about half of his baking soda…

and slowly added in the vinegar (dyed red with food coloring for that additional flair!).

This time, it foamed up slowly and oozed down the sides.

There are lots of resources on how to make your own volcano (including here and a lavender one here!). For more instant gratification, you could skip the mountain-making and use a clean, old bottle or jar and experiment with different amounts of baking soda and vinegar to see what type of explosions you get. Or you could always go the Mentos-in-Diet-Coke route.

Do you remember doing this as a kid? I do. It must have been a school project, but I remember “exploding” it in the backyard and thinking it was the coolest thing around. Still do, as a matter of fact.

If you are feeling old, tired, jaded or worn out from all the worries of the world, may I recommend setting off a baking-soda-and-vinegar reaction of your own? As much as I enjoyed it as a child, an exploding volcano is way more fun as an adult with a couple of 8-year-olds giggling and screaming “Blow it up again!”

Trust me on this one.


About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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9 Responses to Volcano!

  1. Awww . . . that brings back memories of my own budding scientists!!! 🙂

  2. That is so awesome that a parent set up a science club for the kids!! I am all about the science projects 🙂 That volcano sounds like a lot of fun. I remember those mentos in diet soda explosions!! Going to tell my husband about that tonight, he’ll probably want to do it with my daughter this weekend 🙂

    • The mom who set up the science club at our school is completely amazing. She single-handedly planned the projects for the whole year, got all the materials, etc. She. Is. Fantastic. 🙂

      It’s going to be warmer here this weekend so we might be mentos-in-Diet-Coke experimenting too.

  3. Susan B says:

    Hello lovely Joan,
    http://headinmyhands.com/ is a new domain. I hope you follow us soon.

  4. amyp22 says:

    You can make a cool cake volcano with a Pyrex bowl and some hard candy dyed red…if you need an end of club celebration.

    • That sounds like an amazing cake! I’m guessing you bake the cake in the Pyrex bowl and flip it over to make the mountain? Do you have a recipe or link?

      • amyp22 says:

        We had to build a non-errupting model for science a few years back. No special recipe. Just made a box cake and poured it in a Pyrex bowl and then flipped it out onto cardboard.

        I did search for the hard candy. Laid out wax paper and spread it about to make lava to go down the sides and then shoot out the top.

        My son was finally excited about a project. And I was excited it was a project that finally met the expectations.

      • That’s fantastic! During this winter break, I may break out a box cake and give it a shot.

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