How to make a sand volcano

My children came running in the house yesterday to tell me they’d made a sand volcano and could we please cover it with cling film ( we did this with the reusable volcano ) and make it erupt. I couldn’t say no after they’d been so creative so we collected what we needed and apparently it was a better volcano than mine!

sand volcano

You’ll need

An small empty container


2 spoonfuls of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda )

1 spoonful washing up liquid

a few drops of red and yellow food colouring

30 ml vinegar

Cling film optional – but does save the sand from getting too messy

What to do

Mould your volcano around the water bottle with the sand.

Cover with clingfilm – optional

Add everything except the vinegar to the water bottle.

Add the vinegar and watch the eruption! If it doesn’t work so well add a bit more washing up liquid and vinegar, or give it a good stir!


Top Tip

Make sure your mixture in the bottle isn’t too thick as this will slow down the reaction. If it does look gloopy, add some water and give it a good stir.

Why does this happen?

Vinegar (an acid ) and bicarbonate of soda ( an alkali ) react together to neutralise each other. This reaction releases carbon dioxide, a gas that is the bubbles you see, these bubbles make the washing up liquid bubble up to give the appearance of lava erupting from a volcano.

More ideas

Try the reaction without the dish soap, is it less bubbly?

What happens if you add extra dish soap?


Can you make a volcano with red and yellow lava??

More volcano ideas

If you haven’t got sand, but have snow, how about a  snow volcano?

How about making a multi-colour volcano eruption?

multicoloured volcano eruption

We love this tape volcano from Inspiration Laboratories as well.

Or try this lemon volcano from Babble Dabble Do.

How to make a sand volcano

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