Published : 24/08/2012 14:26:23
Categories : Party Games and Ideas
Today is the 1933rd anniversary of the day Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the city of Pompeii and the surrounding area in one of the largest ever recorded volcanic explosions in history. So what better way of commemorating this day by teaching your children how to create their own mini volcano at home? You may sometimes feel a little as though your home is subject to regular volcanic activity based on the heaps of toys and crayons and bricks and dirty trainers generally to be found lying about the place in disarray, especially five weeks into the summer holiday. But taking a little time to teach children how to make a real, working volcano can be great fun - although probably best outdoors if you have just had new carpets fitted. Although frankly if you have children having new carpets fitted is a bit of a liability. Wipeable lino or Astroturf is a much better idea.
You'll need to make the volcano itself first before adding in the clever but safe ingredients which will make it erupt. Grab a coke bottle and stand this in the middle of a tray. Then mix six cups of flour, two cups of salt, four tablespoons of cooking oil and two cups of water to make a traditional salt dough mixture. Add a little more water if you need to, but just a bit at a time. Now build your volcano around the coke bottle, leaving the hole in the top of course. Be as artistic and creative as you like.
Fill the coke bottle almost to the top with warm water, and if you like you can lob in some red food colouring for effect. Next add six drops of washing up liquid to the bottle, and then finally two tablespoons of baking soda.
Now for the volcanic eruption! Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle and watch your volcano blow! You can even reuse this model volcano, just empty the bottle and have another go. You can adjust the food colouring too if you like, perhaps adding in some yellow to make the lava look a bit more orange. Purple can look great too. Of course, this isn't how a real volcano works, but the effect can still look great, and children will love seeing it erupt, with lava spewing down the sides. The chemicals used are all perfectly safe too, so even younger children can enjoy it. If you're in a hurry you can always pop out to the garden and create a volcano out of dirt around the coke bottle. If you and your children do create a volcano at home, why not take a picture or even a video and send it in - we'd love to share your handiwork!