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Part of the exciting world of science! It's easy to make an erupting volcano at home or at school, just use an easy reaction between vinegar and baking soda and watch the lava roll out of the volcano.
Baking soda (make sure it's baking soda, rather than baking powder!)
Sand, clay, or play dough
Paper towel (for clean up!)
In the container or on a plate, make your volcano. I've done this here using some dry sand, but clay and play dough work well too! Make a rounded pyramid shape.
If using dry sand, wet the sand slightly to make it stick to itself so that you can shape it into a volcano.
Use your hands to press a hole from the top of the volcano to its base, right down the middle. This will be where the baking soda will start its eruption from.
Fill the hole with 1 teaspoon or 2 or baking soda.
Pour some vinegar onto the baking soda and watch the eruption begin!
To make the eruption look like real lava, put the vinegar in a bowl before adding it to the volcano and mix in some red food colouring.
How it works
When the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate( and the vinegar (acetic acid) mix, a chemical reaction takes place that releases carbon dioxide - the compound that makes all the fizzing by fizzing as it leaves the solution.
Vinegar is an acid which, when reacting with the baking soda (a base), forms carbonic acid. But, carbonic acid is quite unstable, so it rapidly breaks down in an instant into water and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide escapes the solution to the air and, in doing so, fizzes and creates bubbles which rise from the volcano tube.
This volcano is so fun to create and, with some practice and come artistic flair, you can create impressive volcano landscapes. Try using different coloured play dough or plasticine to create different parts of a forest landscape - trees, rivers, ground - with a volcano in the centre! See how far you can make the lava run.