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Home Schooling: Homemade Volcano and Explosion Experiment

For this week’s experiment, I am sharing a classic, a homemade exploding volcano.  First up we made a batch and half of homemade playdough for the volcano.  Making a batch and half gave us the opportunity to practice math.

Next up was molding the playdough around a glass container (we used a pasta sauce glass) that was placed on a cookie sheet, in the shape of a volcano.

Once the volcano was built, it was time to paint.  Leighton did a great job of trying to make a realistic-looking volcano. (art class for the win)

Now it was time for the fun part, trying to make a big eruption!

For our first try, we used baking soda, white vinegar, dish soap, and red food coloring.  We added the dry ingredients to the bottom of the glass jar and once we outside we added the liquids.   While there was an explosion, it was small.  So we decided to try again by switching up a few things, we added 4 crushed up Alka-Seltzer tablets and a lot more baking soda, which helped but still wasn’t the large explosion we were hoping for (maybe that is a good thing).

This was a fun experiment that included a lot of thinking and creativity but was kinda a let down based upon the explosion.  We were probably expecting way too much but would recommend trying.

Directions for making a Homemade Volcano and Explosion

  1. Made playdough with a combo of homemade playdough recipes found here.
  2. Washed out a glass jar, put in the center of a cookie sheet.
  3. Molded playdough around a glass jar to look like a volcano.
  4. Painted the “volcano”.
  5. Gathered the ingredients for the “explosion” based on these recipes.
  6. Put the dry ingredients into the bottom of the glass bottle.
  7. Put liquid ingredients into a measuring cup.
  8. We went outside for the “explosion” part in case a mess was made.
  9. Pour the liquid into the volcano.
  10. Watch to see the reaction.
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