Fun Science Activity for Kids: Making a Lava Lamp

Using common household ingredients, your kids can create a homemade lava lamp.

Video Transcript

The homemade lava lamp. In this experiment, we will combine several household ingredients to make a child-friendly lava lamp. This project is appropriate for kids of all ages. Young children will enjoy watching the movement and colors. While older children can experiment with different amounts of ingredients to help develop an understanding of how some liquids don’t mix together. Here’s how it works. Homemade Lava Lamps use Vegetable oil and water. These two liquids don’t mix. Since the oil is lighter, it will float to the top, while the water will sink to the bottom. When salt is added it sinks the to the bottom because it is heaver than oil and water, bringing some of the oil with it. As the salt dissolves the oil becomes light enough to float back to the top. Food coloring makes the oil visible so kids can watch the process. To make your own homemade lava lamp you will need… - A clear glass jar or cup. - Water. - Food coloring. - Vegetable oil. - Salt. - And a Flashlight. Let’s get started. Step One. Fill the jar three quarters of the way to the top with water. Add ten drops of food coloring. Fill the rest of the jar almost to the top with vegetable oil. Allow the oil to combine with the food coloring and float to the top. Sprinkle salt onto the vegetable oil layer. The oil will sink to the bottom and then float back to the top. Add more salt to repeat the process. Experiment by using different amounts. Shine the flashlight though liquid on the bottom of the jar to show the movement of the oil. And it’s simple as that! Be sure to check out the other Get Involved videos for more fun ideas to share with your kids!

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