Make Your Own Lava

Since The Older is still sick and we can’t go out and do anything, I pulled out my science experiments for kids binder that’s full of stuff I’ve collected for days such as this. The Older voted on Make Your Own Lava to start with, so that’s where we began.

First I gathered what we needed. (I love this experiment because it’s done with things 99% of households already have, and there’s very little prep time to it.)

Oil, a clear glass filled 3/4 of the way with water, 1/4 cup oil, table salt, and food coloring. Yup, got that!

First we put 5 drops of red food coloring into the glass, and then The Older poured the 1/4 cup of oil into the water.

After that, we added a tablespoon of salt to the water (slowly!), and we waited to see what happened.

What fun! The oil, because it’s lighter than water, stayed at the top of the glass and the salt, because it’s heavier, dropped through the oil and pulled some of it down as well and created these neat “lava balls.” As the salt dissolved, the balls returned to the surface again, so the kids just kept adding more salt to the mixture.

This was a great experiment for The Older. Not only did we get to talk about why the experiment worked like this, we also went over science-based vocabulary (words like dissolve, density, mass, etc). The added bonus was both The Older and The Younger loved being in complete control and working together without Mom’s help!

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