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Easy Science – How to Make a Volcano

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I must confess that you might consider me to be a lazy homeschooler. Why? Because I search out ways to make homeschooling ultra easy. That is why I wanted to share how to make a volcano with you. This one is so easy.

As we’ve delved deeper into our homeschooling journey over these 4+ years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. This is one of my top 10 reasons why homeschooling is such a rad gig!

One of the things I now know about myself is that I need some things just not to be overly complicated.

How to make a volcano

I consider us to be a more unschool-y hybrid homeschooling family with a huge dose of fun and a generous amount of realism thrown in there.

Typical subjects are covered, but sometimes, it’ll be from bookwork and sometimes it’ll be more of a “let’s bake some cookies to teach the 2nd grader fractions and give the 5th grader a refresher course!”

There will be cookies! Did I mention that heavy educator tax?! (See what I did there… I’m teaching them all about government right there!)

Math, reading, government – all at one time!

Emeril BAM!

That’s the stringent criteria for the how and the why of how we ended up here with the lazy homeschooler’s ultra easy volcano experiment! The littles asked and so they received.

I know if it is super complicated or uber messy, I won’t do it.

Now, I have great intentions and want to do it… but I won’t. That is just how it is.

By the way, following those rabbit trails can be some of the best and most memorable lessons you will ever teach!

We complete a science experiment each week. One of the other criteria is that it must be something I can accomplish with their two little siblings in tow.

And being realistic and all, I know the littles can’t sit for the extravaganza of a paper mache volcano, so we opted for playdough instead!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the article to download the Parts of a Volcano worksheet. 

Ultra Easy Volcano Experiment

We don’t have to make this homeschooling hard. Seriously, why do we do that to ourselves?

That is why I wanted to share my easy how to make a volcano step by step guide.

How to Make a Volcano Model – Ingredients Needed

  • old baking sheet (we used this for easy transport)
  • wide mouth mason jar
  • 36 containers of playdough (ordered from Amazon)
  • red food coloring
  • vinegar
  • baking soda

How to Make a Volcano – Step by Step Guide

  1. To make a volcano, on a flat surface, set the mason jar on top of the baking sheet. Begin using playdough to form and build up the volcano. The playdough worked surprisingly well at keeping the mason jar in place. It felt like it was glued!
  2. Once completed, we moved outside … remember my little to no mess criteria! We used our backyard.

How to Make a Volcano Erupt

  1. Add 1/2-3/4 cup baking soda and red food coloring to the inside of the jar.
  2. The more baking soda and vinegar you add, the bigger the reaction you will get. Our ratio was about 1/2-3/4 cup baking soda to 3 cups vinegar.
  3. Add the vinegar and watch the “eruption”!

It was so easy and such a fun project to teach the kids how to make a volcano! It met all my criteria of being fun, educational, easy to do with littles, and little to no mess!

Highlights of what they learned

  • While inside the volcano, the hot, liquid rock is called magma. Once it flows outward, it’s known as lava.
  • The most common volcanic gases are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
  • The majority of volcanoes are found near tectonic plates in the “Ring of Fire.”
  • Volcanoes are classified as: active, dormant, or extinct.
  • Lava can reach over 1,200 degrees!
  • The loudest sound in recorded history was made by a volcano, Krakatau, in 1883, and it released 200 megatons of energy- the equivalent of 15,000 nuclear bombs! (per National Geographic Kids).
  • How to make a volcano erupt with baking soda and vinegar.
  • How patient mom can be when she finds scratches all over her dining room table… that is another story.

This is an easy science experiment for kids and so beneficial. My children had no idea just how much they were learning. All they knew was that we had fun and I didn’t have to fight their little siblings off like a lion tamer.

Download your Parts of A Volcano here. 

If you have older children and want to show your children how to make a volcano with paper mache that is more intricate and challenging, you should try this experiment.

If you want to try a salt dough volcano instead of the paper mache version, you can find the salt dough recipe here.

Here are some great books to go along with your volcano experiment.


 Great Video about Volcanoes

Let us know if you teach your kiddos how to make a volcano too! We would love to see your pictures!

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Hi, I'm Samantha! I get to be married to my delicious high school sweetheart, and we've made 4 of the most rad humans to ever grace the planet. I have a BS in psychology, am a proud veteran's wife, & believe there's nothing that can't be solved by a hot shower and a marathon of Friends. I love Jesus, Joanna Gaines, babies, & Trader Joe's.

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