The chemical reaction in this easy experiment really isn't that different from what happens in a real volcano. The production of carbon dioxide is what causes the eruption. The best part is that all the ingredients are non-toxic and safe to touch!
This is actually a really easy project that can take as little as an hour start to finish, just depending on the level of detail you're shooting for. Everything you'll use is probably already sitting in your kitchen.
Here's what you will need:
- empty plastic bottle (ours was about 12 ounces in size)
- cookie sheet
- vegetable oil
- red food coloring
- baking soda
- paint (optional)
1) Mix up the material to build the volcano. Take about 6 cups of flour, about 2 cups of salt and mix thoroughly. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 2 cups warm water. Mix with hands until it forms a doughy paste.
2) Take the plastic bottle, put it on the cookie sheet and start adding the paste mixture, building it up gradually from the bottom. You'll want to first stabilize the bottle, then form the cone of the volcano. Compact it to ensure it all holds. Let dry (only takes a few minutes).
3) If desired, paint your volcano. We painted it. Of course we did. Let dry. If you're so inclined, you could build a little village and put some trees around it to see how the lava flows would affect people nearby.
5) Pour the tinted water into the bottle in the center of the volcano. Once added, squirt some dishsoap in with it.
6) Carefully pour about 2 tbsp baking soda into the water. It may begin to foam up a little.
7) Pour the vinegar into the bottle a little at a time and watch the lava explode and run down the sides of the volcano!