This color changing volcano eruption for kids takes an easy baking soda and vinegar volcano to the next level!
We figured out how to make a quick three-minute volcano back in my post about our easy baking soda volcano eruption for kids. Yes, three minutes to prepare and then we wash the volcano away with the garden hose! Talk about the easiest volcano ever! Plus, the kids ask to do it over and over again.
Now, we’ve figured out how to make it color changing, and it is just as awesome! Maybe even better I would say…
We even made a video of this awesome color changing volcano that you can see later in the post!
Easy Color Changing Volcano with Baking Soda and Vinegar for Kids
This is going to be the easiest baking soda and vinegar volcano you ever make. So easy, in fact, that in addition to doing it at home I’ve also done it several times with my preschool classes! It’s an awesome way to include some STEM learning in my preschool curriculum.
- Plastic cup (We tried a water bottle, but the plastic cup worked much better)
- 3-4 Tbs of baking soda at least (we usually do 4-6 which makes it extra foamy and will do 2-3 eruptions)
- 1 tsp of dish soap
- 1/2 oz to 2 oz of Washable Paint, depending on the intensity of the color desired or food coloring
- 1 cup (8 oz) of Vinegar to start with per eruption…then they’ll be asking for more 🙂
I know that traditional volcano recipes use water bottles, but I found that having a big opening made our volcano even better. I think the smaller height helped too.
Baking soda is also known as bicarb, depending on where you live.
Use whatever dish soap you like.
We use washable tempera paint because it comes out nice and bright. But if you prefer food coloring, then you can definitely use it. Food coloring does stain, so that’s why I avoided it.
In order to make it color changing, choose primary colors. We used red paint and then blue paint to make purple. Then we did blue and yellow. And of course you can do red and yellow.
For the vinegar, we get the big container of it at Costco or Sam’s because the kids love doing this over and over. And when my preschool classes do it, I have to find a way for lots of little hands to get their turns too.
an area with pea gravel, sand, or dirt
I absolutely love making this color changing volcano outdoors! It’s soooo easy to clean up afterward! Find a sandbox, an area with pea gravel, or any place you can make a dirt mound. In fact, you can even do this with snow! I used to live in Colorado where we made snow projects all the time. Now we live in the desert of Phoenix, and I only wish I could make snow projects again!
You are going to combine what I call the “base ingredients.”
- Baking soda or bicarb
- Dish soap
- Washable Paint (this is one of our favorite brands)
Start off by combining the “base ingredients.” Put the water inside of the plastic cup. Fill it about 2/3 full.
Add the baking soda, dish soap, and washable paint.
You can do this part in the kitchen or in the volcano mound itself — whatever is easiest!
By using washable paint, you don’t have to worry about any staining on the rocks (or little fingers) that food coloring might cause. I tried liquid watercolor as well, but it doesn’t work nearly as well as the washable paint.
While you mix the base ingredients, have the kiddos make a mound out of pea gravel (or you could certainly do this with dirt). Once you have a mound, put the cup on top of it, and turn it into a mountain. How easy is that!
How to make a color changing baking soda and vinegar eruption for kids
Put the cup with the base ingredients into the mound of sand, dirt, pea gravel, snow, or whatever else you use.
We give it a good stir just before adding the last ingredient (the vinegar).
Now it’s time for the eruption!
Pour in the vinegar until it starts foaming over, pouring the lava all over the rocks.
Now time to make it color changing.
Add your second primary color.
Stir really well!
And watch it change color again!
Color Changing Baking Soda and Vinegar Eruption for Kids Video
And now here you can see it in action!
This is the best part! Usually, cleaning up volcanoes takes forever. Not this time.
Just pull out the garden hose, and wash it all away.
Almost all clean.
You can’t even tell we’ve spent the last 20 minutes having a blast!
Want to see some more ways to use baking soda as a great learning tool for children? Here are our favorite fun and easy baking soda and science experiments.
Easy Color-Changing Volcano
- Plastic Cup
- 12-14 oz water
- 4-6 TBSP baking soda
- 1 tsp dish soap
- 1-2 oz washable paint or food coloring
- 24 oz vinegar, divide
- Place a plastic cup in a mound of dirt or rocks.
- Fill the cup 2/3 with water
- Add 4-6 tablespoons baking soda
- Add 1-2 oz paint or food coloring, depending on the intensity of the desired color
- Stir well to combine
- Add approx. 8 oz vinegar, or until the "lava" starts foaming over
- Enjoy the eruption!
- Add another color of paint or food coloring and mix well
- Pour on another 8 oz vinegar to erupt avain
- Add a third color and mix well
- Add the remaining vinegar to erupt a third time
- For clean-up, wash away with a garden hose
This works best with primary colors of paint or food coloring, but experiment to see what combinations you like best!
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Have you done this in a classroom instead of outside? Would/is the smell of the vinegar too powerful for the classroom? My kids would love this!
I’ve done a number of vinegar experiments in the classroom (although not this one), and the smell is never a big deal. Enjoy!