Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Easy Erupting Volcanos Using Homemade Play Dough

(4 1/2 Years)

This project is quick to put together, the kids love it and you probably already have everything in the house!  Look at that SMILE!

A few weeks ago we played with paper mache for the first time.   We made these craft bowls to hold our crayons, markers, scissors and glue sticks.  They are surprisingly sturdy.

I was going to have them help me create a paper mache volcano, but I think that maybe overreaching.   The bowls took a lot of dexterity, mainly from squeegeeing the paper and flour mixture through their fingers.  I had visions of Little Miss and Wild One eagerly beginning the project and then their interest go from waning to ending within ten minutes, I'd then be the one working on this project.

Instead, we created a homemade play dough volcano.  I found my inspiration on Pinterest, it's from Ashley West at Education.com.

Materials needed:
A tray with sides (we bought ours at The Dollar Tree)
A plastic water bottle or a small thin flower vase
Playdough (we used some of our old homemade play dough, this stuff stays soft for months- we used the brown play dough from Thanksgiving 2013!  Here 's the recipe.)
Baking soda - 1 Tablespoon
Red food coloring - 3 drops
Dish soap - 3 drops
Vinegar - 1/4 cup (a Pyrex measuring cup makes pouring easy)
Dinosaurs (not essential, but the kids thought it was hilarious that they were getting buried by the lava- hmmm, I'll have to look into that dark side later)

While the kids were busy creating pink Olaf snowmen and smashing rolled play dough letters (can you guess who was doing what?), I started placing the play dough around the water bottle, on top of the tray.  Wild One began helping, asking if he can put the dinosaurs next to the volcano.  Building a volcano out of play dough takes less than five minutes, it takes longer than that just to prepare to build a paper mache volcano.

Once we were all satisfied with our little volcano and dinosaurs.  We began adding the ingredients for our lava.
One tablespoon of baking soda.

Three drops of red food dye.

Three drops of dish soap.

Now the fun part, quickly add the 1/4 cup of white vinegar.

After Little Miss saw how much fun her brother had, she decided that she wanted a turn at pouring in the vinegar.  Take two!

While I was cleaning up our experiment (all I did was pour out the vinegar solution from the tray, and now we can do this again another day), the kidabunks took out their crayons and science journals and began drawing what we did, "Just like Sid the Science Kid Mom!"

Quick, easy, engaging, most of all fun!  Learning through play is really the best way!

UPDATE 8/13/14
We have now recreated this experiment four times!  The dinosaurs are actually stuck in the "lava" (the dried play dough).  Each time we do this, they are still amazed at how quickly the baking soda reacts with the vinegar.  They have experimented with adding extra baking soda, pouring the vinegar fast vs slow, adding baking soda to the outside of the volcano as well as the inside of the volcano.  They discuss their hypotheses before we do the experiment, and then the result of the actual reaction. I love how much fun homeschool preschool is!

No comments:

Post a Comment