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Nature Crafts
Enchanted Learning Software's
Volcano Craft
More Kinder Crafts


Make a mock volcano that erupts when you mix baking soda and vinegar.

This is a very messy project - especially at the end when the volcano erupts. Wear old clothes and work on a pile of newspapers (or even better, outdoors).

In a real volcano, molten rock from deep within the Earth erupts through a volcano (the molten rock is called magma when it is within the Earth and is called lava when it comes out of a volcano). In this project, a mock volcano will erupt with a bubbly, fizzy liquid that is created by a simple chemical reaction.

This project shows kids what happens when an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) interact. Chemically, the acid and base neutralize each other, producing carbon dioxide gas as a byproduct. The exact reaction is:

HC2H3O2 (vinegar = acetic acid) + NaHCO3 (baking soda = sodium bicarbonite) = CO2 (carbon dioxide gas) + NaC2H3O2(sodium acetate) + H2O (water)

Supplies:
  • Old aluminum pie tin (or baking pan or paper plate)
  • Lots of old newspaper
  • Baking soda (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • Vinegar (about 1/2 cup)
  • A few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Small plastic bottle (like a small pop bottle)
  • Modeling clay (for a clay recipe, click here)
  • Funnel
  • Measuring spoon and measuring cup
  • Red food coloring
  • Glitter (optional)
Put the clean, empty bottle on the aluminum pie plate (or baking pan or paper plate).

Using the modeling clay, make a volcano around the bottle. Leave the area around the top of the bottle open and don't get any clay inside the bottle.

You can decorate the volcano with little twigs, lichens (that look like tiny trees), etc.

Using the funnel (make sure it's dry), put 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda into the bottle. The add a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent and about a half cup of water. Optional: add a little bit of glitter (about half a teaspoon).
Put a few drops of red food coloring into about one-half of a cup of vinegar.
The Eruption: Using the funnel, pour the vinegar mixture into the bottle (then quickly remove the funnel).

Your volcano will erupt immediately! When the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, carbon dioxide gas is formed and the bubbles push the "lava" out the "volcano."

Be prepared for a mess!

Learn about volcanoes, print out volcano diagrams, and take a quiz on volcanos.

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