How to Build a Model of a Cinder Cone Volcano

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Things You'll Need

  • Flour

  • Salt

  • Cooking oil

  • Utility knife

  • Cardboard box, at least 1 foot by 1 foot

  • Drink bottle

  • Plastic bag

  • Scissors

  • Brown and red paint

  • Baking soda

  • Detergent

  • Red food coloring

  • Vinegar

Making an erupting volcano is enough to give even the most reluctant child an interest in science. Or perhaps your school days are long past but your natural scientific curiosity or interest in volcanoes has left you wanting to make your very own lava-spewing cinder cone. Whatever the reason, building a model volcano need not be difficult. To make a cinder cone volcano, the structure should have steep sides and have a crater on top.


Step 1

Pour 6 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 4 tbsp. of cooking oil and 2 cups of water into a bowl.

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Step 2

Mix all of the ingredients to make a dough.

Step 3

Cut the two small sides of the box and one of the larger sides so they are around 4 inches high.


Step 4

Cut the remaining side so it makes a triangle shape beginning from a 4-inch high base. The tip of the triangle should be around 2 inches higher than the bottle.

Step 5

Cut the top of the triangle off so that it has a 3-inch flat area.


Step 6

Cover the bottle with a plastic bag.

Step 7

Use a utility knife to cut a hole in the box that has the same dimensions as the base of the bottle. This hole should start about 2 inches from the center of the highest side of the box.


Step 8

Mold the dough to make a volcano shape, remembering that the top of the bottle is the tip of the volcano. Make the volcano around 2 inches higher than the top of the bottle with roughly a 3-inch diameter flat circular area at the top.

Step 9

Remove dough from the circular area to form a bowl or crater shape. Stop when the top of the bottle is revealed.


Step 10

Paint the dough brown with some red running down the side to represent lava.

Step 11

Take the bottle out from the base of the box and take off the plastic bag.

Step 12

Pour water into the bottle until it's almost filled.


Step 13

Insert 2 tbsp. of baking soda and 5 drops of detergent.

Step 14

Add 3 drops of red food coloring the mixture.

Step 15

Insert the bottle back through the base of the box and into the volcano.

Step 16

Add 1 drop of vinegar into to the tip of the volcano to watch it erupt.



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