Little Pumpkin Volcanos

Remember Ayden’s little pumpkin I wrote about in Real Pumpkin Slime? Well, it came in handy for this science project. After the little pumpkin’s seeds and guts were all scooped out, it was ready for another fun activity! The kids made volcanos before, but an erupting volcano inside of a pumpkin was never attempted in our home. This activity was very easy to do, and the items were already in our house. Here’s the process:

Gather your supplies:

  • Mini pumpkin (stem cut off; seeds and guts scooped out)
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Green liquid food color
  • Vinegar
  • Measuring cup; measuring spoon; and dish to hold the pumpkin

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What to do:

  1. Place the pumpkin into a dish to catch the “lava” and for easier clean up.
  2. Drop about ¼ heaping cup of baking soda into the pumpkin.20171116_193508.jpg
  3. Squeeze in some dish soap (about 1-2 tbsp). We squeezed in enough to make one layer over the baking soda.
  4. Squeeze a few drops of green liquid food coloring into the pumpkin.20171116_194357.jpg
  5. Pour vinegar into the pumpkin until the pumpkin erupts.
  6. Watch the eruption and be amazed!

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Scientific Notes:

The very first time we added everything into the pumpkin, we didn’t get as much of an eruption and bubbly froth, as we expected. We decided to make a second attempt and poured the contents out to start again. This time, we did about ¼ cup of baking soda instead of a couple of tablespoons and we squeezed in extra dish soap. The extra dish soap provided for more bubbly “lava.”  Once the eruption of the volcano died down, the kids created another one by repeating the steps over again.

When they realized the soapy baking soda remained in the bottom of the pumpkin, they continued to add food color and pour in vinegar until the pumpkin no longer erupted. The kids extended the play by putting their fingers in the lava and stirring it with a spoon. This science activity is excellent for tactile sensory experience for younger children. I thought Ayden wouldn’t be interested in putting his fingers in it, but to my surprise, he did and was having a good time playing in the green “lava.”

To extend children’s learning about chemistry reactions, you can explain how vinegar is an acid and when combined with baking soda, it makes a gas which causes the eruption. You can also explain how adding the dish soap makes the eruption bubbly.

My kids had a lot of fun with this activity and enjoyed watching the pumpkin erupt. This is an activity that all ages can enjoy! Do you think your kids would enjoy this as well? Try it out and let me know!

 

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