How to make a multicoloured volcano

This multicoloured volcano is slightly different to the usual single coloured versions and allows the addition of  a mini design and engineering aspect for older children.

multicoloured volcano eruption

The volcano used in the photo above is a model available from Learning Resources. I just split the eruption container in half to make the lava multicoloured.

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How to make a multicoloured volcano

What you’ll need

Large tray

Sand, play dough, snow

Empty effervescent vitamin tablet canister or other tube/container

Thick card

Washing up liquid


Red and yellow liquid food colouring

Baking soda

2 Squeezy bottles

Small stick to mix


Construct a volcano shape around your tube or container. You could use sand, papier mache, snow, mud or anything at all.

sand volcano

Cut out a piece of thick cardboard so it fits tightly inside the canister and place inside so the canister is split in half.

Add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to each side of the cardboard inside the canister.

Add half a tablespoon of washing up liquid, a teaspoon of red food colouring and about 30 ml vinegar to one squeezy bottle.

Repeat using yellow food colouring for the other bottle. If the colours don’t look vibrant add a little more food colouring.

Squeeze a very small squirt of each coloured vinegar mixture into different sides of the canister and mix both with your stick.

volcano mix

Watch the eruption!

multicoloured volcano


Things to think about

How could you make the eruption more explosive?

Could you add a third colour?

Links with maths

Can you time how long the reaction takes from start to finish?

Try adding twice as much vinegar, is the reaction twice as fast?

Links with English

Research a real volcanic eruption and write about the long term effects on the environment.

See this post for more easy volcano ideas.

multicoloured volcano

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There is one comment

  1. Steffi

    Chris – you are a moral coward. Those photos are of people who are fighting for thier country. Even after this, they still keep lining up to serve as policemen and in the Army.And, the Americans closest to this, US Military members, see this everyday and choose to stay and help. Your smug comments simply iltatlruse the decadance of your detached point of view.

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