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How to Build an Erupting Volcano

Have fun and make a mess, all in the name of science.


  • Step 1: Make clay Make homemade clay by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl, and then adding water until the mixture is smooth in consistency.
  • Step 2: Center bottle Center the bottle on the baking sheet.
  • TIP: Cut a piece of cardboard so it fits in the baking pan, and glue the bottle to it. You can paint this cardboard to match the volcano.
  • Step 3: Shape volcano Shape the clay around the bottle to make it look like a volcano. Start at the bottom, creating a wide base, and work toward the top. Make sure to leave the mouth open.
  • Step 4: Paint the volcano Paint the volcano with the acrylic paint to make it look more realistic.
  • TIP: Decorate the base of the volcano with toy trees to add more life.
  • Step 5: Add liquids Pour the vinegar, red food coloring, and a few drops of dishwashing detergent into the bottle.
  • Step 6: Add baking soda Fold the baking soda into a tissue and drop it into the bottle, and watch in wonder as your volcano erupts.
  • FACT: Did you know? When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, the eruption caused the mountain’s elevation to drop 1,314 feet.

You Will Need

  • 6 c. flour
  • 2 c. salt
  • 1 c. water
  • Small plastic bottle
  • Baking sheet
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • 1/2 c. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. red food coloring
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Tissue
  • 3-4 tbsp. baking soda
  • Cardboard (optional)
  • Glue (optional)
  • Toy trees (optional)

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