How to Make a Homemade Volcano?

Watching a homemade volcano erupt is a very exciting experience for young children as they watch and learn about the amazing power of these geological formations.

Making your own homemade volcano is really simple and requires basic material that you can find around the home.

Recently after reading a non-fiction book about volcanoes and earth quakes, it aroused an interest particularly about volcanoes with Miss 4 and 5.  There was a number of questions and some misconceptions so we went on to explore these questions and then onto making our own homemade volcano.

What you will need?

You will need an empty plastic bottle (this is 1 litre bottle), newspaper torn up in strips, PVA craft glue, masking tape and a container for the water and glue mixture.

To make the lava to mimic that of a real volcano you will need bicarbonate soda, red and yellow food colouring (or orange) and white vinegar.

To make the basic shape of a volcano I cut the middle of the plastic bottle out and then overlapped the two ends together securing it with masking tape.  To give the volcano a more pyramid/mountain shape I then rolled newspaper into a tube shape and wrapped it around the base of the plastic bottle and securing it all with masking tape.

Time to get messy: applying Paper Mache to our volcano using small strips of newspaper dipped into a gluey water mixture.  We also folded a small amount of newspaper into the opening of the bottle but making sure there was enough room to add our bicarbonate soda and vinegar later.

Tip – keep some old flannels or cloths handy for the kids to wipe their hands on.

When the Paper Mache was dry, Miss 4 and 5 set to work to paint the volcano.  We had watched a few videos on You Tube about volcanos and it was decided that the volcano needed to be black, dark grey and a little bit of brown.    While we were waiting for the paint to dry we had a practise run to see how much bicarbonate soda and vinegar would be needed for the homemade volcano.   To give you a bit of an idea, we used 4 tablespoons of bicarbonate soda and 1 cup of vinegar mixed with some red and yellow food dye and this seemed to work fine.

Sifting the bicarbonate soda into the funnel and about to pour in the vinegar…..you have to be super quick to get the funnel out.  Miss 5 was standing by ready to grab it after Miss 4 poured in the vinegar.

Our homemade volcano fizzing and frothing as the bicarbonate soda and vinegar react together.

Making a homemade volcano is a fun and simple process that kids will take on a sense of pride, ownership and achievement of what they have accomplished.  All this while learning new things and practising some basic skills with an almighty eruption at the end.  We repeated the eruption 3 times!

Some simple facts about volcanoes:

  • A volcano is a mountain that erupts.
  • Rock under the earth’s surface is so hot that it melts.  This melted rock is called magma.
  • Erupting magma is called lava.
  • Volcanoes become bigger every time they erupt as the lava cools and makes a new layer of rock.
  • Volcanoes can erupt under water and form new islands from the cooled lava.
  • Volcanoes can be found on the moon and other planets.
  • There are more than 500 active volcanoes on Earth.

More Ply Ideas 

As a result of this activity, my kids were very intrigued about how bicarbonate soda and vinegar react together –  Here is an activity to extend this learning through making Homemade Honeycomb.  Click on the image to see the full post!

Some great books about Volcanoes for Kids 

ooks about volcanoes for kids
The Best Book of Volcanoes
Fiction Books for children about volcanoes

Look Inside Volcano by DK

The Best Book of Volcanoes by Dr Simon Adams

My Mouth is a Volcanoe by Julia Cook

34 thoughts on “How to Make a Homemade Volcano?”

  1. Looking for home made volcano ideas and I found this website! HOLY COWABUNGA! Fantabulous….if I didn’t have to go to work I would STILL be looking through all the great ideas.

    Nice work.

  2. thank you so much i am 12 and i had to make one for my science homework is was amazing thank you so much !!!!!! xxxxxx

    1. Thank you soooomuch this really helped me with a massive project i had some of the facts i wrote down-my teacher didnt even know about! lolxx! ♥☺

  3. Thank you! This is way to easy (and cheap!) not to do! I just found your website and I am so in love with it. As a mom and full time student, and an admittedly small creative side, I am more than grateful for your website. Everything I have seen so far is simple, inexpensive, educational and lots of fun! Thank You a million times over for the time you put into creating this site!!!

    1. Hi Zara, no I wouldn’t say it is a big explosion but the more vinegar and bi-carbonate soda you mix together the bigger the mess. I hope this helps, thanks! 🙂

  4. that was aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssoooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (awesome)

  5. Libby Collins (Q3!) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Thank you soooo much Janice! This really helped me for my geography homework that is due in on Thursday 4th of December 2014! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx THANK YOU!!!!!!! 😛

  6. Thank you so much! My friend and I were looking all over the internet for ‘How to Make A Volcano’ and we finally found it. This is for a project, we are in Year 6 so we are truly thankful.

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