Friday, April 7, 2017

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How to Make a Volcano Science Experiment -- Everything You Need to Know!!

How to Make a Volcano: this has been my son's favorite topic - and science experiment - for more than three years and, to be honest, we've made a lot of volcanoes! He has so much fun learning with these science projects.

Volcanoes are an ideal science project for preschoolers and early elementary kiddos because once they learn the basics they can explore and experiment as much as they'd like. They can engage  with the volcano-making process like a STEM exploration and you can use it to teach new science concepts. Plus volcanoes are loads of fun for Earth Day!!

Today I'm sharing some volcano making basics and loads of different ways to have volcano-making fun!

First, how to make a volcano:

How to Make a Volcano:

Let's start out with the basics and then I'll share the detailed instructions for several different kinds of volcanoes.

1- First you need the actual volcano structure. 

This is what you'll be putting your reaction in.

We've built volcanoes out of playdough, salt dough, baking soda dough, styrofoam, cups, water bottles, vases, and actual dirt/mud/rocks. We've also made edible volcanoes out of bean dip and rice crispies! If you're making your volcano out of something soft like play dough or mud, it helps to pack it around a water bottle, vase, or cup.

2- Secondly, you need a reaction to make your eruption! 

Here are the reactions we have used:

* baking soda and vinegar
* baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap
* yeast, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap
* kool-aid and baking soda
* kool-aid, baking soda, and dish soap
* dry ice and warm water

I have detailed instructions on how to set up these reactions below.  :)

3- Build your volcano and let it erupt!

We love adding "special effects" like colored lava (food coloring or liquid watercolors), sparkly lava (glitter), pyroclastic lava (toothpicks and foil), and more! We've created "delayed" explosions by wrapping baking soda in 1-ply tissue, dropping it in the volcano, and then putting a "cap" on top of the volcano. For caps, we've tried tissues, a squirt of shaving cream, and anything else safe that my kids could think of! All my kids love to experiment with volcano special effects!

If you'd like a detailed set of instructions for one type of volcano, here are links to the volcano projects I've written up so far. Ironically, I still have pictures from at least three more volcano projects we've done that still need writing! But, here are the detailed instructions so far. 

Just click on the link BELOW the pictures!

Step By Step How to Make a Volcano Instructions:

1: Our Gender-Reveal Volcano uses the classic vinegar/baking soda reaction and a white salt dough volcano built around a vase.

2: The Rainbow Volcano uses a baking soda dough that I invented to keep reactions going even after the "lava" leaves the volcano!

3: This No-Vinegar Volcano is a variation on my very popular Elephant Toothpaste experiment. We used it to talk about volcanoes in Africa!

4: We approached these Dry Ice Volcanoes as a STEM challenge and made them right in the ground! It was so awesome!!

5: Our New Zealand volcanoes came in two parts: one in containers outside and one in trays inside. They helped us visualize how a set of islands can rise out of the ocean after lots of volcanic activity!

6: The Igneous Rocks Lesson uses the same process as #3 above (The No Vinegar Volcano), but shows how you can use the volcano to teach about rocks.

I would LOVE to hear about your volcano science experiment adventures!! I promise I'll be sharing more of ours! Feel free to shoot me an email or share a picture of your volcano science projects on my Preschool Powol Packets Facebook page!

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

I may share at any of these parties!

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