Are you looking for volcano themed science experiments? Are you longing to explore volcanoes without getting burned? Then look no further! Check out these awesome exploding volcano ideas!

Cartoon volcano smoking

First, build a volcano!

Volcanoes can be built from lots of different materials! A google-eyed volcano shifting its eyes.

Flaticon Icon Paper cone volcano:

  1. Make a paper cone volcano by rolling a sheet of stiff paper (like poster paper) into the shape of a cone — the top opening of the cone should be smaller than the base, like in the picture above!

  2. Tape the cone so that it keeps its shape.

  3. Trim the base so the cone will sit flat on a table.

  4. Set the paper cone volcano over a glass, beaker, or bottle.

Flaticon Icon Paper mache paste:

  1. Mix together 1 part flour, 2 parts water, and a few tablespoons of salt to make some paper mache paste.

  2. Adjust the ingredients to the consistency you like.

  3. Dip some paper strips (1-2 inches wide) into the mache paste.

  4. Mold the paper mache strips over a small funnel or paper cone to create the cone shape.

Flaticon Icon Playdough or modeling clay:

  1. Use your favorite color of Playdough to create a volcano.

  2. Shape the Playdough over a funnel so that it has a large base and a smaller top opening.

  3. Flatten the bottom away from the beaker to make it look like the ground around a volcano.

  4. You could even use modeling clay in place of Playdough.

Flaticon Icon Fruit:

  1. Have some fun with a fruit volcano.

  2. Use a hollowed-out apple, pumpkin, or watermelon.

  3. Use some citrus fruits like lemons.

Flaticon Icon Beaker or mason jar:

  1. Use a beaker or mason jar — no building required!

And, of course, there are purchasable volcanoes you can use! These volcanoes are ready to use and are usually made of plastic materials.

Next, create the "lava"!

A lava lamp bubbling.

Choose which type of lava you want to use.

Flaticon Icon

Method #1


  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1 tsp dish soap

  • A few drops of food coloring (optional)

  • Vinegar


  1. Mix the baking soda, dish soap, and food coloring together. Use a bit of water if the mixture is too thick.

  2. Pour the soda mixture into your volcano then slowly add vinegar.

  3. Watch your volcano "erupt"!

Flaticon Icon

Method #2


  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (higher % solution = greater foaming)

  • 1 pkg dry yeast (1/2 Tbsp)

  • 1 tsp dish soap

  • A few drops of food coloring (optional)


  1. Measure and add the dry yeast to your volcano.

  2. Mix the peroxide, dish soap, and food coloring together in a separate bowl then pour the peroxide mixture over the yeast.

Be warned! This mixture will bubble up quickly!

Flaticon Icon

Method #3


  • Lemons or other citrus fruits

  • Baking soda

  • A few drops of dish soap

  • A few drops of food coloring


  1. Roll the lemons on a table or other hard surface to get those citrus juices flowing inside.

  2. Cut each end off so the lemons will sit flat on the table. Then cut the lemons in half.

  3. Break up the lemon pulp using a popsicle stick or skewer. Add food coloring and dish soap to the lemon.

  4. Sprinkle on the baking soda and watch the reaction.

Flaticon Icon

Method #4


  • 1/2 cup baking soda

  • 1 cup vinegar

  • 1 pkg Pop Rocks

  • A few drops of food coloring


  1. Mix the Pop Rocks and baking soda, then add to your volcano.

  2. Mix a few drops of food coloring into the vinegar.

  3. Pour the vinegar into your volcano.

  4. Listen to the "lava" pop as it erupts!


Ms. Greene wants to create as fast and large a "lava" flow as possible for her students. Which method should she choose?

Need more?

Cartoon volcano exploding

Try these volcanic activities!

Method #6 — Look inside a volcano!


  • 8 or 16 oz water bottle

  • 3 inches of 7/8 inch diameter tubing

  • 1 foot of 5/16 inches diameter tubing

  • Brown play dough or modeling clay

  • One of the "lava" recipes above


  1. Make a hole on opposite sides of the water bottle for the smaller tubing to fit snuggly into.

  2. Cut the small tubing in half and place one end inside each hole. Insert the larger tubing in the top hole. Secure with fast drying glue or tape, if you wish.

  3. Use the Playdough or clay to mold a volcano around half of the water bottle and the tubes (leave one side uncovered).

  4. Pour one of the "lava" recipes above into the water bottle (use a funnel, if needed) and watch the action!

Method #7: See an underwater volcano!


  • Large beaker or glass

  • Smaller beaker or glass that will fit inside the larger beaker/glass

  • Small rocks to weigh down the smaller beaker/glass

  • Hot and Cold Water

  • Food coloring of choice


  1. Fill the larger beaker or glass with cold water.

  2. Place the small rocks into the smaller beaker/glass. Add a few drops of food coloring. Fill the smaller beaker or glass with hot water.

  3. Release the smaller container of water into the larger container and watch the eruption begin!

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