Make A Volcano

Make a volcano in your backyard sandpit with the kids!

This science experiment is my children’s favourite. They enjoy seeing two different chemicals react when put together. It amazes them!

While this experiment doesn’t last long; you can ask your kids to make the volcano first so the activity lasts longer.

Here’s my secret weapon…

I’ve made many volcanoes either for my own children or while teaching. This is my secret weapon for making the best volcano…

Use a plastic cup inside your volcano. Dig out a hole in the top for the eruption and place inside a cup. This means that all the chemical reaction has to escape out the top of the volcano. It’s less waste and bigger explosion.

What you will need:

There are 3 ingredients you will need: bicarb soda, food colouring and vinegar.

I don’t have a recipe for this. The explosion will depends on how large or deep your plastic cup is so I won’t give you a recipe, but I will give you my method for this experiment.


  1. Place a cup inside the top of your volcano.
  2. Pour bicarb soda into your volcano’s plastic cup. Fill it to about half way up the cup.
  3. Add a lid full of food colouring – any colour looks great!
  4. Talk about what comes next – this part is good for building suspense and hypothesising with kids. Don’t skip this step because it builds prediction methods and language skills.
  5. Pour white vinegar slowly into the cup. Don’t rush this step. Enjoy watching the chemical reaction.

You can re-pour vinegar into the cup after the first explosion. Pour until it won’t fizz anymore.

See our volcano video on PINTEREST! Feel free to FOLLOW US afterwards.

The best way to draw out language skills during this experiment is to use words like: experiment, science, chemicals, chemical reaction, liquid, powder, fizz, bubbles, hypothesise and if you want to go further into words like acidic and neutral.

Questions and phrases to use before, during and after the volcano experiment are: What will happen? Why do you think that? How did this work? Why did it react this way? What happens if we add more? How can we change this next time?

Enjoy this time at home during isolation and stay safe!

Written By Sarah Courtney