Experiment Volcano

The model of an erupting volcano is one of the most fun classic experiments for children, as it not only keeps them entertained while making a craft, but also allows them to learn basic notions of chemistry.

Paper mache volcanoes for kids can be a great idea for a family craft and science project, especially if we can cause a real eruption with ingredients we normally have in our kitchen. However, it is necessary to allow enough time for its elaboration, since it is very important that the structure dries in layers before carrying out the experiment.

How to make a volcano with paper mache?

It is normal to wonder how to make a homemade volcano with papier-mâché, since not all of us are familiar with this practice of crafts and crafts. In this sense, it is an ancient technique used in different cultures to create shapes with shredded paper and a special glue.

To make the latter, we must mix two parts of white glue with one of water. This paste will serve to wet pieces of paper and create the structure of the volcano. We will also need an empty plastic bottle, sheets of newspaper, masking tape, 1 cardboard box, acrylic paints and waterproof varnish.

First of all, we need to cut the cardboard box until it is about 5 cm high. This will give us a base to create the volcano and at the same time will serve as a container to contain the fluids of the eruption . For this reason, it is advisable to cover all the slots and holes in the bottom of the box with papier-mâché to prevent leaks.

Now, we must place the plastic bottle in the center of the box and remove the lid. When choosing the bottle it is advisable to opt for a small one, since later it will have to be filled with the ingredients to make the eruption. Next, take some crumpled newspaper and place it around the bottle.

Using adhesive tape, we can make a frame with vertical pieces that go from the top of the bottle to the cardboard base. It is important that all of the crumpled newspaper is trapped under the tape, as this will be the infill for the volcano .

For the next step, we must cut a couple of sheets of newspaper in irregular shapes of approximately 12 x 4 cm and moisten them with the previously made glue mixture. Now, it’s time to place the pieces of paper around the volcano using the masking tape as a frame. It is necessary to let it dry for 24 hours to apply a second layer of paper. In this way it is possible to obtain a harder structure. Also, it is good to check that there are no spaces left uncovered with paper, as this could detract from the realism of the volcano.

Once it dries, we will have a volcano to color and decorate according to our tastes. As the main color we can use dark brown and black to simulate the surface of a rocky mountain. Also, it is important to add streaks of yellow, red, and orange colors to create the illusion of lava overflowing from the center towards the base of the volcano. It is important to let the paint dry, and then apply a thin layer of waterproof varnish to help us preserve the volcano when it erupts.

Lava effect with cooking ingredients

To make the lava effect of the volcano with baking soda we will need food coloring, hot water, vinegar and a funnel. First, you have to place the funnel in the crater of the volcano and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Next, it’s time to mix a few drops of baking coloring into a half cup of hot water. This will give us the color of the lava, so we can use a red color for more realism or the child’s favorite color.

Once the mixture is ready, it is necessary to add the cup of painted water inside the volcano and immediately after that, pour a stream of vinegar into the crater. Finally, it is important to remove the funnel, take a step back and we can only see how the bubbling lava flows from inside the volcano.

The lava effect is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs between baking soda and vinegar. In this reaction, carbon dioxide gas is produced, which builds up a great pressure inside the plastic bottle and produces a bubbling substance that spills out, simulating lava, which can give children an idea of ​​how a real volcano works.

Volcanic eruption without realizing a volcano

The erupting volcano craft can be fun and educational for kids, but it can take longer than expected. Therefore, to perform the experiment without having to make the volcano from scratch, then we will need 1 disposable plastic cup, water, 6 tablespoons of baking soda, dish soap, 50 ml of washable paint and 1 cup of vinegar.

In principle, we must go to a garden or place where a mound of earth or sand can be made. Then, you have to fill the glass with water to 2/3 of its capacity and add the tablespoons of baking soda, the liquid dishwashing soap and the washable paint. Now, we must place the glass with the mixture on top of the mound and bury it until we create a kind of crater. Finally, it is only necessary to pour the vinegar into the glass and watch how the lava flows.

When performing it on stones, earth or sand, it is not necessary to worry about cleaning up after performing the experiment, which favors practicality. Similarly, you can use Lego Creator sets to build a volcano or a kind of tower in which you can add the tablespoons of baking soda and vinegar. However, in this case it is not recommended to add paint of any kind to avoid staining the pieces.

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