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Volcano Experience
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Type: Projects   Skills: Critical ThinkingLanguage & LiteracyPlay & Creativity
In this activity, kids will learn how to create an erupting volcano in their own home. This activity can be very exciting for 4-year-olds. As soon as the vinegar and baking soda come in contact, there’s an immediate reaction that is easily observed by the kids.

Volcano Experience
What We Learn
Language development
Thinking skills
Fosters imagination
Supply List
Sand
Water
Baking soda
Kool-Aid drink powder mix
Turkey baster
Vinegar
Plastic container
How-To
Prepare for this activity by explaining to your children what a volcano is and how it erupts. Then explain to them how they’re going to make their own homemade volcano.

Begin by placing sand in a plastic container. Instruct the children to shape the sand into the form of a volcano. Have a pitcher of water available so that the children can pour water onto the sand to help in the molding and shaping process. You don’t want to soak the sand – just wet enough to mold it.

After the children have finished shaping their volcano, instruct them to form a small hole at the top of the volcano. They can simply use their finger to create a small hole about an inch deep.

Instruct the children to scoop a couple teaspoons of baking soda and pour it into the hole at the top of their volcano.

Then have the kids scoop some Kool-Aid or drink powder mix and pour it on top of the baking soda. While the Kool-Aid powder isn’t necessary for the activity, it helps add color and smell to the experiment. Any color drink powder will do, but cherry-flavored Kool-Aid will give the illusion of red lava.

Next, instruct the children to squeeze a turkey baster in a cup full of vinegar to fill it with some vinegar. Then show them how, by squeezing the turkey baster over the top of their volcano, the vinegar will react with the baking soda to create a chemical reaction that will mimic the eruption of a volcano.

You can repeat this activity many times. Simply add more baking soda to the top of the volcano to create additional volcano eruptions. And you can add different drink powder flavors to create different colors of lava.

Throughout the activity, remember to ask children open-ended questions about what they are doing. Explain to them more about the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar and discuss more about how volcanoes really work.

Remember, not all aspects of this activity are appropriate for very young children, but it is perfect for older children, especially four-year-olds, since they can be actively involved in the process.
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