Erupting volcanoes in preschool

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Your students will love making colorful eruptions while exploring volcanoes!

The number one request my students have had over the past few weeks was to make volcanoes. I would have let them make them sooner but it seemed with Mother’s Day and all the other things we were wrapping up, I just couldn’t fit them in.  Finally, I took an entire part of one day and made sure that we dedicated it to our volcanic adventure…

Preparing the Experiment

My husband is in the process of doing a little landscaping in our outdoor area and so right now there are large piles of dirt everywhere. This was a perfect setting for our volcanic adventure! To create our volcanoes, each child started by filling a plastic water bottle with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. Did you know that you do not have to use pure vinegar to create a bubbly reaction? Watered down vinegar will do the trick quite nicely too…

Adding Color

Then each child chose one food color to add to their water and vinegar mixture. We added the food color so the children could more easily see their volcanoes when they erupted plus it is just more fun to have colorful bubbles…

Placing their Volcanoes

Once the bottles were all ready to go, the children went outdoors and picked a spot on the peak of our big volcanic mountains (dirt piles)…

The children dug a hole in the mountain with their hands and then buried their bottles up to the neck or as deep as they could get them to go.  The dirt was very soft which made this process work out very well…

After the bottles were buried, then the children went back down the mountain to get a teaspoon of volcanic ash (baking soda) to add to their bottles…

Enjoying Colorful Eruptions

And then they stood back and watched the eruptions begin…

Exploring Cause and Effect

Each time the bubbles would slow down, the children ran back down the mountain to get more baking soda on their spoons and back up again to make the volcano erupt once more…

And once the baking soda no longer did the trick, the children ran to empty out their bottles and start all over again…

A Multi-Disciplinary Process

This process brought together outdoor play and large motor skills (climbing in the dirt); science  (exploration, the flow of gravity and the mixing of different properties); problem-solving (asking questions and seeking answers to how to keep the bubbles going);  math (measuring out the ingredients)…

Promoting Student Agency

But above all else, this process was something the children found meaningful because it was their idea!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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