Anyone who’s been to Hawaii, or looked at the Pacific Ring of Fire, will discover one of Earth’s most interesting landforms – a volcano. Despite what you may think, volcanoes are not a one-size-fits-all geophysical phenomenon. Instead, volcanoes have their own ‘personalities’ and are formed in a variety of ways. Now, imagine if you could design a simple science experiment for your kids and make one of these amazing creative forces right in your kitchen. The good news is you can, and it won’t leave a mess! Well, not much.
The first step is to take your young geologists and help them learn all about volcanoes before constructing an individual model of a volcano out of simple materials. The excitement builds as your ‘students’ begin asking if they’ll be permitted to simulate the eruption of their volcano! For fun, respond by asking them if they want their volcanoes to be dormant or active volcanoes. Guess how many respond with “dormant”?
To make a homemade volcano of your own, gather a Styrofoam or plastic tray, an empty film canister, and some modeling clay, then follow these steps:
This experience serves as a wonderful introduction to the concept of chemical reactions because your future scientists get to observe gas bubbles emerging from the volcano as their volcano erupts. It’s also a great hands-on activity that makes a rainy day move along quickly and keeps the kids off their devices and/or away from the TV. Who knows, one day you may even hear your children say, “I still have my volcano at home on my bookshelf.”
Needless to say, don’t make your volcano so immense that National Geographic includes you in their next Ring of Fire documentary!
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