Make a lava lamp with your preschooler, and your preschooler will love science experiments! I can’t promise that, but Henry has.
Lava lamps are simple to make, too.
What you need to make a Lava Lamp:
- Vegetable oil (or get a clear oil)
- Food coloring of your choice
- Alka-Seltzer Tablets (as many as you choose, the more the merrier!)
- Clear container (the taller and skinnier, the better the effect)
Don’t have Alka Seltzer? See how to make a lava lamp without Alka Seltzer!
How to make a Lava Lamp:
- Fill the container with 2 parts oil, 1 part water. (Leave some room at the top of the container for a little bit of bubbling.)
- Drop in a few drops of food coloring
- Add an Alka-Selzer Tablet (start with 1/4 or a half a tablet to begin with)
- Watch is fizz and bubble up to the top!
We did three containers of lava lamps. Three different colors, for triple the lava fun!
It took a lot of oil, though. I wish I had more on hand because I didn’t quite have 2/3 for each container. The oil is essentially the lava lamp portion, so it would have been nice to have more of it. But it still worked!
I also wish I had clear oil on hand instead of vegetable oil. But I’m not sure what kind of oil besides baby oil is clear. Any suggestions?
Henry dropped in tablet after tablet. Over and over, watching it bubble up! He used the entire box of Alka-Selzer just for this experiment!
The green one really captured his attention. Maybe because it’s his favorite color. Or maybe because it was the tallest and skinniest, so it had the best reactions.
Mixing colors would be a fun addition to this lava lamp experiment! We learned about mixing colors in the magic color changing milk experiment, it was a blast!
It was even interesting from the top of the bottles. Or, at least Henry thought so.
Once we were starting to run out of Alka-Selzer tablets, we started combining the colors and making them bubble together.
We were surprised to see that the colored bubbled remained separate! Can you see the little red ones in the mix of the big blue bubbles?
What’s your favorite science experiment to do with the kids?
This one might be a toss up with the baking soda and colored vinegar one… They’re both highly intriguing to Henry!
Bern at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas recently did some Faux Lava Lamps too! In fact, she had entire Mad Science Week! It’s awesome!