Comparing Homemade Volcano Recipes | Still Playing School

Comparing Homemade Volcano Recipes

My daughter's fear and fascination with volcanoes continues. We decided to test homemade volcano recipes and compare the reactions! Which volcano recipe works best? 

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We love to create with recycled materials (Remember our kid created small world volcanoes from egg cartons?) so we glued two milk jugs to a packing tray base. 

We molded store bought play dough around the milk jugs to make them look like volcanoes. You could also make your own play dough! I asked our preschooler E to smash the play dough flat before adding it on. This was a good work out for her hand muscles.

She was quite creative with the play dough! Just allowing her to work on the floor this day led to new techniques! Who knew she would use her whole body and gross motor skills while making our volcanoes!

Once the milk jugs were covered our volcanoes were ready to fill and erupt. We took them outside on another tray for this scientific reaction!

We compared two different homemade volcano recipes: 
baking soda with vinegar versus hydrogen peroxide with yeast

The first recipe was one cup of white vinegar which we colored with red food coloring. E added a tablespoon of baking soda. The reaction was fast, furious, fizzy, and fun! 

The next recipe was 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide dyed with orange food coloring. E added a tablespoon of quick rising yeast. This reaction took a bit longer but when we stirred it up it was longer lasting and more suspenseful as we watched the "lava" rise, pulse, and then foam over the volcano.

The vinegar volcano had enough left over that E could erupt it a few more times by adding more baking soda. She decided this volcano was her favorite. I can see the benefits of both depending on who you were presenting the experiment to and how they were able to observe it.

We washed the volcanoes off and took them to the park the next day to erupt them with our neighborhood friends. Everyone loved our volcano comparison experiment!

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  1. Vinegar and baking soda just never gets old at that age! Such fun! Might have to borrow some of my husband's yeast packets to try the other version!

  2. This was a great activity to do with my 4 year old, thanks for sharing it:)