Monday, February 9, 2015

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Preschool Science Experiment: Rainbow Volcano

Our preschoolers are absolutely in love with this rainbow volcano science experiment! This colorful science project gets kids excited about earth sciences (and making a mess)!

Rainbow Volcanoes are our newest science experiment invention!  They are incredibly fun, great science, and a sensory experience!  Preschoolers get to use 5 senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, & hearing), practice predicting, hypothesizing, making conclusions, communicating, and playing!

The bright colors and fizzing make this activity absolutely irresistible!  I haven't met a child yet who didn't love a fizzy volcano!

You can prepare the volcano yourself, and just let your kiddos join for the eruption, or you can involve them in the entire process!  My kids cannot stay away from a colorful project, so they participated from the very beginning!  In fact, this was the first time we had done something like this (and I couldn't find anything similar online), so I warned them that we were doing a big experiment.  I told them that it may not work, but if it did, it would be AWESOME!!  They were totally game, and had loads of great ideas and input on the process.  In the end, it was FANTASTIC!!  Everybody loved it, and I would totally recommend letting your kiddos participate in the prep work!

To make your own Rainbow Volcano, you will need these

Simple Supplies:

* baking soda
* water
* food coloring
* vinegar
* liquid dish soap (optional, but fun!)
* vase
* pan to contain the volcano's mess

Easy How To:

First you need to make the dough that you will use to make the volcano:

1.  On a plate or bowl, mix together 1 cup baking soda, 3 Tablespoons water, and 5-10 drops food coloring.  You can ask your kiddos how much food coloring it will take to color all that baking soda.  When it's mixed in, ask them if they were surprised.

2.  Repeat this for each color you want.

Next you need to build your volcano:

3.  Set your vase inside your pan.  Press each color into the vase to make a colorful rainbow volcano.  If the baking soda dough is too dry to stick, add a little more water.  If it is too wet, add more baking soda.

Now it's time to erupt the volcano!!

4.  Put about 1/4 cup of baking soda inside the volcano.  Let your children smell the vinegar and ask them if they like it.  You can even put a drop of vinegar on their fingers and let them taste it!  Optionally, you can add a squirt or two of dish soap to the vinegar.  This will make the explosion last a little longer and be a little more foamy.  

5.  Ask your children what they think will happen when you mix the baking soda and the vinegar.  Talk to them about the results afterwards! Quickly dump the vinegar into the vase and enjoy your rainbow volcano!!

6.  After it was done erupting, my kiddos had fun adding more vinegar to the sides of the rainbow volcano and watching lots of mini-eruptions!  They also played in the rainbow "mud" and mixed all the colors together.

In the end, this science experiment was a HUGE success that took up half of our morning.  It also inspired some other fizzing rainbow sure to check back on Monday to see what else we did!  And in the can try making a rainbow volcano science project, too!!!

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