Reuniting Kids w/ Nature – Build a Volcano

A small plastic or paper cup, clay, vinegar, baking soda, flour, a cookie sheet, two measuring cups, measuring spoons, red food coloring (optional)

30 – 60 minutes


  1. Place your cup on your cookie sheet
  2. Using your clay, create your volcano over the cup remembering to leave the opening open so your volcano can explode later!
  3. Once you are happy with how your volcano looks, mix together 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon flour in one of your measuring cups
  4. Pour your mixture into the top of your volcano
  5. Add in 10-20 drops of red food coloring
  6. Pour about 1/2 cup of vinegar into the top of your volcano and watch it “explode”!!!

What happened? How does this activity mimic an actual erupting volcano?


  • A volcano is a landform (usually a mountain) where molten rock erupts through the surface of the planet.
  • Magma is liquid rock inside a volcano. Lava is the magma that flows out of a volcano. Basalt is the dark, heavy volcanic rock that is lava after is cools and it makes up most of the world’s oceanic crust!
  • Pumice is volcanic rock and is the only rock that can float in water.


  • This is a very messy and quite stinky activity! I highly recommend exploding your volcano outside somewhere just in case your lava/vinegar overflows!
  • After the first “explosion” and the foaming has calmed down, you can add another 1/2 cup of vinegar and watch it explode again!

This activity is part of a series of low cost, hands on activities that can be used by anyone who has a passion for nature and who believes that a child’s time spent in nature is not only important, but necessary. Each activity was either created by me or gathered from a variety of sources. You can find the complete list of all of the activities on my Environmental Ed tab.


Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

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