Choose a spot to
build your volcano that is okay to occupy
for a couple of days because the volcano will need time to dry. You
should also choose a spot that is easy to clean up—this project
is messy! Your backyard would be an ideal location, if the weather is
over your work area.
Use a large piece
of cardboard as a platform for your volcano. A large tray or cookie
sheet with sides all the way around will help contain your volcanic
eruption. Cut the cardboard to fit inside the tray.
to find a small beverage bottle, so that you can use less clay to model
your volcano. A 16-oz soda bottle will require about three batches of
clay. This can get quite heavy if you want to move the volcano. Some
people use papier mache' for part of the volcano to make it lighter.
However, if you want to keep the volcano and use it again, modeling
clay is best.
the neck off the bottle at a slight angle. This creates a wider opening
for the lava flow, and the angle makes the volcano opening look more
realistic. Glue the bottle to the center of the cardboard base. Let
it dry for about an hour.
You may then add
all of the ingredients for the first eruption except the baking soda
to the bottle (vinegar, dish soap, and red dye).
you wait, mix your clay. Begin by mixing the flour and salt. Then add
the water and mix with your hands until you have a clay-like consistency.
It must be moist enough to hold together, but as dry as possible, so
it doesn’t take too long to cure.
building your volcano from the bottom, molding
the clay around the base and working toward the top. Remember, you need a wide bottom and a narrow top. When you run out of clay, let the volcano
dry for awhile before mixing another batch. Sometimes if the volcano
dries on the outside and the inside is still moist, the inside will
expand, creating surface cracks and fissures. This is okay because that
is what happens in real volcanoes. But if the interior is too moist,
the weight will cause the whole thing to break away from the bottle.
Volcanoes look like mountains, so lumps and bumps are good. You can
also sculpt erosion gullies and lava channels after the volcano has
dried for awhile.
the volcano completely dry before you paint it. Use a base color like
brown to paint the entire volcano and the base. Then paint green for
trees, white for snow at the top, etc. Or you can use entirely different
colors–whatever your imagination dictates. If you want texture,
you can sprinkle fine sand on the wet paint. You can use small twigs
and grass for trees, but remember, you are building a mountain, so individual
trees would be difficult to see from your perspective.
the paint dries, you will be ready for the eruption. Place your baking
soda in a small square of tissue. Gather the edges and twist them together.
Drop the baking soda into the volcano, wait several seconds, and you
will begin to see your eruption.
volcano should be very durable, so you can keep it and erupt it many
times if you like!
Just remember that the eruption is messy and plan