DIY Lava Lamp For Kids
DIY Lava lamps are a fun and easy project that kids of all ages can make with an adult. This is a great beginner science project to learn about liquid density and inspire the scientific side of learning. Homemade science projects are wonderful because you can basically walk into your kitchen, open up your cupboards and grab everything you need. So, here’s how to make your own DIY lava lamp for kids!
The first step is to download and print out the science experiment worksheet from the free resource library (if you don’t have the password, click below to sign up for it). Your child can use this worksheet to record their observations while they make the lave lamp.
MAKE YOUR LAVA LAMP IN MINUTES!
First, measure 1 cup of tap water in a measuring cup. Then, add 20 drops of food coloring and stir together.
Next, in the plastic bottles, fill them about 3/4 full with the vegetable oil using a funnel.
Now you can pour the colored water into the plastic bottle using a funnel.
Here comes the fun part of your DIY lava lamp. Take a tab of alka seltzer and break it into 4 smaller pieces.
Drop one piece of the alka seltzer tablet into the bottle. It will go to the bottom.
But, as the alka seltzer dissolves, it will cause the colored bubbles to occur making it look like lava!
So what’s happening here? ThE SCIENCE BEHIND THE HOMEMADE LAVA LAMP:
The oil and water will stay separated because they cannot form chemical bonds together. So once everything settles, you will always see the colored water at the bottom of the bottle, and the oil on top.
The alka seltzer contains sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. When you mix these two ingredients with water, they combine to produce carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide creates the water bubbles that float up through the oil (aka the lava). Then, as the chemical reaction slows down, the water bubbles fall back to the bottom.
Pretty cool, huh!?
While all of this is happening, ask you kids lots of questions during the process: What do they think is going on? What do they see? What do they think will happen if they add another alka seltzer tab? Why are the water and the oil separate from each other.
Make sure to explain a little about the science behind it as well!
A Quick Note: Before you go alka seltzer happy and drop lots of tabs in all at once, be careful! If you add too much alka seltzer in to the lava lamp, it will start to foam up and might even spill out of the bottle. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you’re ready for a little bit of spill to happen. It can also be a great part of the science experiment if you plan for it.
Once you’re done adding alka seltzer, the lava lamp will settle down and the colored water will stay separate at the bottom with the oil at the top. But when you’re ready to experiment again, you can add another small piece of the alka seltzer to create more bubbles! It’s so fun and such a great activity for kids.
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a homemade DIY lava lamp for kids! If you make one of these, please do email me let me know — I love to see your science experiments! And, as always, let me know if you have any questions.