How to Make a Paper Mache Volcano With Lava

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Kids will have fun with this quick and easy science project.
Kids will have fun with this quick and easy science project. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Making a paper mache volcano is a fun and easy way to teach kids about science. With a little creativity, and just a few household items, kids can create a unique volcano that really works. This exploding volcano can be a terrific science project or just a great way to entertain kids on a rainy afternoon.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Water bottle
  • Tape
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Bowl
  • Paint
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Red food coloring
  • Sturdy flat piece of cardboard (for use as a platform)

Preparation

Determine how high you want the volcano to be. Cut off the top of the water bottle at the point of the desired height.

Set the water bottle in the middle of the cardboard platform. Tape the water bottle firmly in place. Pull gently to ensure the water bottle will not move and is secure.

Crumple up several large pieces of newspaper and set aside. Cut the rest of the newspaper into thin long strips. Make the paper mache glue by mixing the water and flour in a large bowl. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

Making the Volcano

Place the crumpled pieces of paper around the bottle to make the volcano. Tape the pieces of paper to the water bottle and the cardboard box to form a paper hill. Check to be sure the paper hill slopes evenly in the front and back.

Put a strip of newspaper into the paper mache mixture and so that it is covered completely.
Remove the extra mixture by running the paper through your fingers. Place the strip over the form of the volcano and the cardboard bottom. Repeat the process adding strips until the newspaper and cardboard are completely covered. Leave a hole at the top of the volcano -- the opening of the water bottle.

Allow the paper mache to dry completely, roughly about 2 to 3 hours. Decorate the volcano by painting over the paper mache. Let the paint dry.

Creating the Eruption

Cover a table with cloth or newspaper to prevent the lava from staining the surface. Place the volcano onto the table.

Mix the vinegar and red food coloring together to create the lava. Pour the baking soda into the hole at the top of the volcano.

Pour the vinegar and food coloring mixture into the volcano opening. Watch as the baking soda and vinegar react to create a lava that will erupt from the volcano.

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