Monday, January 25, 2016

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New Zealand Volcano Science Experiments!

Volcano science experiments are everybody's favorite part of preschool, and they went perfectly with our New Zealand Day! The kids loved this colorful science project.

Volcanoes are an important part of New Zealand's landscape, so we started out our New Zealand Day talking about plate tectonics, the Ring of Fire, and how volcanoes can make islands.  Then, of course, we had to make our own volcanoes!

First we made volcanoes outside, in the dirt, and in pans.  To do this, build your volcano out of rocks and dirt.  The pan is optional.  Place a cup in the middle of the volcano to represent the path lava would travel out of the Earth.  Put a couple tablespoons of baking soda and a squirt of liquid dish soap in the cup.

Add about half a cup of vinegar to start the eruption!!

It was easy to see how the frothy volcano explosion could cool and harden to make the island bigger!  At this point the kiddos naturally asked about volcanic rocks, so we took a quick "field trip" to look at igneous rocks, but that's a lesson for another post!

After we made our outdoor volcano in the yard, we went inside to make more volcanoes.

New Zealand is made from a series of volcanoes--there are actually dozens of volcanoes on the small Northern Island!  To represent this (and to have some preschool fun with colors, fine motor exercise, and science), I set up a volcano pan.  You can do this too!  Simply spread a layer of baking soda in a pan, and let your children add a few drops of food coloring throughout the pan:

Pour some vinegar in little bowls and let your children start the eruptions by adding the vinegar to the volcano pan with a small pipette!

Let the eruptions begin!

New Zealand, preschool science experiments, fine motor exercise, and color!  Plus, experiments inside and outdoors!  What more could you ask for?!

I am sharing these science experiments as part of our Poppins Book Nook team.  Every month we share science projects, activities, and books based on a common theme.  The theme for January is Countries Around the World!

My book recommendation is Welcome to New Zealand, a Nature Journal.  It is a lovely book about nature in New Zealand and is a wonderful way to explore other aspects of the country (besides just volcanoes!).  It can also serve as a springboard for your kiddos to make their own nature books about your backyards!

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Happy Educating, Carla

I may share at any of these parties!

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