Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TP Tube Volcano

You know it is a good activity when your 3yr old is still asking to do it a year later!

Last April my husband was stuck in Ireland for two weeks when the volcano in Iceland was spewing ash everywhere across Europe. I was newly pregnant, super tired, and I hated that volcano with a passion! My little guy loved it... and is still obsessed with volcanoes... so we tweaked this activity and tried it again yesterday.

Materials Needed: TP tube, tape, playdoh, large open cardboard box (lid of a printer paper box is great), garbage bag, vinegar, baking soda, plastic container to hold liquid, and red food coloring.

1. Tape the TP tube to the bottom of a box/large piece of paper. 

2. Use playdoh to build around it.

3. Fill plastic container (from flowers) with red food coloring... and some baking soda.

4. Stick container inside the TP tube.

5. Pour in some vinegar and watch the reaction!

Then add more baking soda and vinegar and watch again... and again... and again :)

Did you know that there are tons of different types of volcanoes? I didn't (or I'd forgotten?) until I was modifying science curriculum for a 6th grade student last year and discovered this diagram.

Who would've thought this would also come in handy with my 3 yr old?

My favorite thing about kids is that if you teach them something that is difficult (but related to a personal interest)... they remember it! Don't scrimp on the words... ash is much cooler to say than smoke and magma is more fun to say than hot red stuff!

Science experiments always provide an opportunity to develop language skills. Kids spend time predicting, creating hypotheses, and then talking about what happened! I loved this volcano project because we were able to build on to my son's vocabulary knowledge about volcanoes (we now know caldera, crater, magma, ash... and are working on fissure)... and have fun together at the same time.

We also practiced some sequencing skills because we called to tell Grandpa all about our experiment and my little guy got a chance to independently tell him about each step (in order) and all of the ingredients. It was great language practice and extra special to share his special experiment with his Grandpa!

Last year I remember Caz sharing about how she'd seen this done in a sand box... anyone else have any other baking soda volcano versions to share? We've been watching YouTube videos ALL WEEK.


  1. This is a favorite in my class also, except we use those small plastic film canisters for the inside so they are smaller and able to take home.
    Add plastic dinosaurs. Visit me for more cool science!

  2. I really want to do this with my class!! SOON!

  3. Mine too! When we did our volcano they loved it so much we had to repeat the process.

    Thanks for stopping by today. We loved your printables of Llama Llama Red Pajama! TY!


  4. My son is just fascinated by volcanoes! This will be a great activity to do with things we have. Found you over at Preschool Corner!

  5. I love doing this- we made a volcano in the sand box this year! Thank you for sharing this on The Sunday Showcase.

  6. In March I do a jungle/dino theme in my classroom. My preschool students love making volcanos! I was looking for a way for the kids to make them individually and came across your site on Pinterest! I love your site and will recommend it to my parents as a source of great ideas to do with their kiddos at home!

  7. add a couple of drops of dawn and it will bubble a lot longer and be even more fun. we do these at school and camp and they beg for another one


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