How to Make a Volcano

Опубликовал Admin
22-08-2019, 20:00
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Updated: June 13, 2019 A volcano is a fun science project, especially for kids. You can easily make a volcano if you need a project idea for a science fair! Make your own dough out of common household items and shape it into a volcano. Then, paint the volcano to make it more life-like, and add your ingredients for the eruption!

Mixing the Dough

  1. Mix 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water, and 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) of oil. Measure out each of the ingredients and put all of them into a large bowl. Use a fork or a spoon to mix everything together.
    • The dough will be hard to mix after a few minutes, so you might want to ask for help from a parent, teacher, or older sibling.
  2. Knead the dough with your hands to form it into a ball. When the dough mixture gets too stiff to mix with a fork or spoon, use your hands instead. Squeeze and press the dough like clay to mix everything together. Use your hands to shape the dough into a big ball.
    • Make sure to knead the dough on a sturdy surface, such as a table or counter. 4
    • Using a rolling pin to flatten and knead the dough may also be helpful.
  3. Pour in 1 tablespoon of water if the dough won’t stick together. If the dough is crumbling off the ball while you knead it, then it is too dry. Add 1 tablespoon of water. Then, use your hands to knead the dough and mix in the water.
    • If the dough is still dry, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it sticks together.
    • Be careful not to add too much water or the dough may become sticky!
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of flour if the dough is too sticky. If you can’t get the dough to stop sticking to your hands, then it is too sticky. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour. Use your hands to knead the extra flour into the dough.
    • If the dough still feels sticky, add 1 more tablespoon of flour and knead. Keep doing this until it feels smooth and does not stick to your hands.
    • Don’t add too much flour or the dough will not stick together.

Creating a Volcano Shape

  1. Press the dough ball onto the center of a tray or box lid. Your volcano will make a mess when it erupts. Put it onto a rimmed tray or box lid and press down on the ball to attach it. This will help to contain the mess.
    • If you are using a tray, make sure to ask your parent or guardian first. Don’t use one that you might want to use again because attaching your volcano to the tray will ruin it.
    • The lid of a cardboard box will also work, but make sure to ask a parent or guardian first!
  2. Use your hands to shape the dough to look like a mountain. Press your hands against the sides of the dough ball to shape it. Make the dough ball into a mountain shape using your hands.
    • Ask for help from an adult or older sibling if the dough is too stiff to shape!
    • There are several different types of volcanoes. Some have steeper slopes than others, and some are even flat at the top. You can shape the dough to look like a specific type of volcano, but keep in mind that most will have an uneven surface and won't be completely flat.
  3. Push a small glass cup or jar into the center of the dough mountain. After the dough is in the shape of a mountain, take a small (roughly 8 to 12 fluid ounces (240 to 350 mL)), cylinder-shaped glass cup or jar and press it down through the center of the mound. Push down until the edges of the cup or jar are level with the top of the dough mound. This glass or jar will be the opening of the volcano.
    • This part can be hard. Ask for help from your parents or someone else with strong hands if you cannot get the cup or jar to go down into the dough.
    • Make sure to ask for your parent or guardian’s permission before you use a cup or jar! It will become part of the volcano and you won’t be able to use it again.
  4. Shape the dough around the cup to make it look like a volcano. Once the cup or jar is in place, begin shaping the dough again to make it look like a volcano. Use your hands to press the dough around the cup or jar.
    • Keep in mind that volcanoes are not perfectly smooth! They are rocky and rough on the outside, so it is okay if your dough is a bit bumpy.
    • Remember that you can make your volcano look like a specific type of volcano if you want to get technical, or just make a standard volcano. Search for images of volcanoes on the internet to find 1 that you would like to model your volcano after.

Painting the Volcano

  1. Wait for the dough to dry completely before painting the volcano. The dough will need to dry for at least 8 hours, so leave it out overnight. Place it somewhere out of the reach of pets so that it will not get damaged, such as up on a high shelf or in a room away from pets.
    • The clay will feel hard to the touch when it is dry. Check it after about 8 hours by pressing it.
    • If the dough is still soft after 8 hours, give it a few more hours to dry.
  2. Apply a coat of brown or black paint to the outside of the volcano. Acrylic paint works best for painting a volcano. Choose a paint color that will make your volcano look more realistic. Try painting it a medium brown, dark brown, or black. Use a large paintbrush to sweep paint over the sides of the volcano and cover it completely.
    • Make sure to put down some old newspapers or paper towels before painting to protect your work surface.
    • You might also want to put on an old t-shirt.
  3. Paint the inside of the volcano orange or yellow for added effect. If you want the inside of your volcano to look like it has lava in it, you could also paint the cup inside of the volcano. Use a medium sized paintbrush to apply the paint.
    • Opt for a bright orange for a vivid contrast to your brown or black paint on the outside of the volcano.
    • You can make orange paint by mixing equal amounts of red and yellow paint.
  4. Let the paint dry overnight before making an eruption. The paint on the inside and outside of your volcano should be completely dry before you make the volcano erupt. Let it dry overnight to be sure it is dry. Otherwise, the paint may run when you add the eruption ingredients.
    • Place the volcano out of the reach of pets, such as up on a high shelf or closed room.
    • You can touch the paint to see if it is dry. It will feel tacky if it is wet and smooth if it is dry.

Making the Eruption

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the volcano. Measure out 2 tablespoons of baking soda and add these to the cup in your volcano. Make sure that the inside of the volcano is completely dry when you do this. Any moisture may cause the baking soda to fizz before you want it to.
    • Baking soda is a common household item, so you probably have some.
    • Ask a parent or guardian before you use the baking soda.
  2. Squirt about 1 teaspoon of dish soap onto the baking soda. The dish soap will make the eruption extra foamy. You only need a 1 teaspoon to get this effect.
    • Any type of dish soap will work! Use whatever is in your kitchen.
    • Make sure to ask for permission from your parent or guardian first!
  3. Add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring to the volcano. Food coloring will make the foam look more like lava. Add a few drops of red and a few drops of yellow food coloring for a bright lava flow.
    • If you have orange food coloring, you can also use this to color the lava.
  4. Pour in 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) vinegar to make the volcano erupt! Vinegar is the final ingredient and as soon as you add it, your volcano will erupt! Pour it in when you want the eruption to happen.
    • Don’t add the vinegar until you are ready for the eruption! You can leave the other ingredients in the volcano for as long as you need until you are ready to make the volcano erupt.
    • You can pour in extra vinegar if there is still some baking soda in the bottom of the jar.


  • If you don’t want to make your own dough and form a volcano, you can add the eruption ingredients to an empty 2 Liter soda bottle. The ingredients will cause a volcano-like eruption out of the top of the soda bottle!


  • Don’t look down into the volcano while it erupts!
  • Ask a parent or guardian for permission before you do this experiment. You may also need help from an adult for some parts of the experiment.
  • Stand back after you pour in the vinegar!

Things You’ll Need

Mixing the Dough

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Shaping the Volcano

  • A tray or box lid
  • A small plastic or glass cup

Painting the Volcano

  • Brown paint
  • Orange paint
  • Paintbrushes

Making the Volcano Erupt

  • 2 TBS baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Red food coloring
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) of white vinegar
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