December 3, 2023

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I have to admit, you might consider me a lazy homeschooler. Why? Because I’m looking for ways to make homeschooling ultra easy. That’s why I wanted to share with you how to make a volcano. This is so easy.

As we have delved deeper into our homeschooling journey over these 4+ years, I have learned a lot about myself. This is one of my top 10 reasons why homeschooling is the way it is rad concert!

One of the things I know about myself now is that I need some things to be less complicated.

How to make a volcano

I consider us more unschool-y hybrid homeschooling family with a huge dose of fun and a generous dose of realism.

The typical topics are covered, but sometimes it will be from books and sometimes it will be more a “Let’s bake some cookies to learn 2n.d comparator fractions and put 5Thursday grader refresher course!’

There will be cookies! Did I mention the high education tax?! (Look what I was doing there… Teaching them all about government!)

Math, reading, government – all at once!

Emeril BAM!

That’s strict criteria for how and why we ended up here with the lazy homeschooler’s ultra-easy volcano experiment! The little ones asked and so they got.

I know if it’s super complicated or horribly messy, I won’t do it.

Now I have great intentions and want do it… but I won’t. That’s just the way it is.

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

Each week we complete a science experiment. One of the other criteria is that it has to be something I can do with their two little siblings in tow.

And being a realist, I know the little ones can’t sit on a paper mache volcano extravaganza, so we opted for dough instead!

Don’t forget 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 difficult. Seriously, why are we doing this to ourselves?

That’s why I wanted to share my simple step-by-step guide to making a volcano.

How to make a volcano model – the necessary ingredients

  • an old baking sheet (we used it for easy transport)
  • wide-mouthed mason jar
  • 36 dough containers (ordered from Amazon)
  • red food coloring
  • vinegar
  • baking powder

How to make a volcano – Step by step guide

  1. To make a volcano, place a baking dish on a baking sheet on a flat surface. Start using the dough to shape and build the volcano. The dough worked surprisingly well in keeping the mason jar in place. It felt like it was glued on!
  2. Once done we moved outside… remember my criteria for a little mess! We used our backyard.

How to cause a volcano to 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 will be. Our ratio was about 1/2-3/4 cup of baking soda to 3 cups of vinegar.
  3. Add the vinegar and watch the “eruption”!

This was such an 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 with little kids, and little to no mess!

The most important thing they learned

  • While inside a volcano is called hot, liquid rock magma. Once it flows out, it is known as lava.
  • The most common volcanic gases are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
  • Most volcanoes are located near tectonic plates in the “Ring of Fire”.
  • Volcanoes are classified as: active, dormant or extinct.
  • Lava can reach temperatures of over 1200 degrees!
  • The loudest sound in recorded history was made by the Krakatau volcano in 1883, releasing 200 megatons of energy – the equivalent of 15,000 nuclear bombs! (according to National Geographic Kids).
  • How to make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar.
  • How a mom can be patient when she finds scratches all over her dining room table… that’s another story.

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

Download Parts of A Volcano here.

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

If you want to try a salt dough volcano instead of the papier mache version, you’ll find it salt dough recipe here.

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

Great video about volcanoes

Let us know if you are teaching your kids how to make a volcano! We’d love to see your pictures!

Hi, I’m Samantha! I am going to marry my delicious high school sweetheart and we have made 4 of the most joyful people to ever grace the planet. I have a degree in psychology, I am the proud wife of a veteran, and I believe that there is nothing that cannot be solved with a hot shower and a Friends marathon. I love Jesus, Joanna Gaines, kids, and Trader Joe’s.

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