Preschooler and toddler looking at the volcano experiment.

We can’t study geology and rocks without doing this fun, traditional activity of making and exploring a volcano. This is an iconic science activity for kids. All it takes is a few steps to make this science magic happen.

Making and Exploring a Volcano: Geology for Kids

My children were 2 and 4 when we did this activity. We have done this 3-step science experiment with the kids many times. They love it.

We added this activity into our Hands-On Homeschool Geology Unit. There are many books that help kids learn about the earth structure and function. This 3-step experiment for kids is a fun way to bring that information alive.

Pictured are the supplies needed for the exploring volcano experiment.

3-Step Science for Kids Supplies:

  • Brown construction paper
  • Glass jar
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Cookie sheet (with raised sides)
  • Food coloring

Making a Volcano: Step One

Curl a piece of construction paper into a cone. Place 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the glass jar. Place the paper cone over the glass.

Preparing the supplies for making and exploring a volcano in this geology unit for kids.
Place the paper cone over the jar containing the baking soda.

Exploding a Volcano: Step Two

In a measuring cup, pour in 1 cup of white vinegar. Add a few drops of red or orange food coloring to make it look more like real magma.

Exploring a Volcano: Step Three

Get ready for the oohs and ahhs! Pour the vinegar into the glass. The kids love this part. You can have your child pour the vinegar if you prefer. That is great pouring practice.

We all know the baking soda reacts with the vinegar and the volcano erupts. Although this is not exactly the same science as a real erupting volcano it does act as a great segway into reading about volcanoes and geology with kids.

Three kids observing the volcano experiment after it erupted from the baking soda and vinegar.

When I teach preschool at home, I like to get my preschooler learning to write in a simple way. I use journaling for preschoolers. It is not strict writing. It is exposure to creating a response to an activity.

My preschooler drew a picture of what she remembered the volcano looking like when it erupted. I simply say, “Go ahead and draw or write about what you saw happen in our experiment.”

And, that is our final activity in this volcano exploration.

>>You can view how to teach a preschool activity here and grab the free printable guide.<<

>>If you are looking for more preschool at home guidance, check out the homeschool preschool schedule.

What science experiment do your children love to try over and over again?

Three kids observing the making and exploring a volcano experiment. It is a 3-step science activity for kids.