Tuesday Crafternoon: DIY “Lava Lamps”

Today at Crafternoon we made our own “lava lamps!” We were inspired by this post at Come Together Kids, and by this how-to at Steve Spangler Science.

DIY lava lamp at Pufferbellies Toys and Books

bubble, bubble, bubble ...

This is an incredibly simple project, but really fascinating and fun to do. Here’s what you need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring (we tried liquid watercolor and it didn’t really work that well)
  • An empty water or soda bottle (16 or 20oz)
  • Alka Seltzer tablets

Simply fill your bottle about 3/4 full of oil. Mix water and food coloring together, then add this mixture to the oil in the bottle until it’s almost full — leave about an inch at the top. Watch the colored water make its way to the bottom. Then, break up a tablet of Alka Seltzer and drop it bit by bit into the bottle. Magic! We experimented with breaking the tablets into bitty little pieces and into bigger pieces to see which would make more bubbles.

We had about 20 children do the project over the course of 90 minutes. The youngest was about three, the oldest about 12, and they all really loved it. Since we were here in the store, I lined our table with paper towels and had the children work in aluminum roasting pans — just in case of a spill.


Tuesday Crafternoon at Pufferbellies - lava lamps

ingredients for DIY lava lamps

Ingredients: water, vegetable oil, food coloring and Alka Seltzer tablets

Dropping in the Alka Seltzer

Dropping in the Alka Seltzer

DIY lava lamps

bubble bubble, fizz fizz





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