Backyard Volcano


Backyard VolcanoGet ready for some explosive, oozing fun!

You Will Need :

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vinegarred
  • food coloring (optional)
  • play dough or clay
  • empty yogurt container or juice bottle
  • paper towels for clean-up

How to do it ?

  • Take advantage of good weather and take the fun outdoors. If you are working indoors, be sure to cover your work surface with a painter’s drop cloth or plastic tablecloth. This experiment will get messy. You may want to build your volcano in a baking dish or pan for easier clean-up.

  • Use a small, empty yogurt container or an empty juice bottle for a base. The volcano shape itself is built around this base.

  • Help kids make play dough. Use our dough recipe or buy some ready-made play dough. Ask kids to mold the dough into a volcano shape around the container. Be sure to leave the opening at the top uncovered so you can pour things into the container.

  • Have kids pour 1/4 cup of water into the container, stir in the baking soda, and a few drops of detergent. If you have red food coloring, kids can add a few drops into the mixture.

  • Are you ready for the eruption? Ask kids to predict what might happen and then pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into the container.

  • What happened? Vinegar is an acid and it reacted with the baking soda, which is a base. Together they form carbon dioxide gas. That’s what brought the foamy liquid to the surface!

  • Try varying the amounts and see what combination works best. See if your observations change when you change the amounts added.

Hint :
Volcanic eruptions occur when pressure builds up inside a volcano. Ash and lava are then forced out the top. The baking soda and vinegar simulate this explosiveness.

You don’t need a degree in chemistry to get kids buzzing about science! Kids love to make things gush, goo and explode, so get out the baking soda and vinegar and let the science fun begin!