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How to Create a Volcano


You will need:

  • Mod-roc/ paper maché materials
  • Kitchen roll inner tube (per volcano)
  • Large sheet of sturdy cardboard (or plastic tray)
  • Plastic food bag (per volcano)
  • Selection of poster paints (if decorating your volcano)
  • Clear varnish or Plasticote (if decorating your volcano)


  1. Place the food bag into the top of the cardboard tube to create a water proof well or hollow.
  2. Create a volcano shape using either mod-roc or paper maché around the tube. You can use a cardboard cone as a base shape and build on this or scrunch up bits of paper and build around it.
  3. Leave to set according to manufacturers instructions for mod-roc but at least overnight. A paper maché volcano will take longer to build because of the time needed to dry the paper/glue mix between layers.
  4. Once set, you can paint your volcano and surrounding cardboard landscape.
  5. Remember to protect your model with clear varnish or Plasticote to make it waterproof. You may want to get an adult to help with this bit because it can be quite tricky! If you are unable to get hold of these then a thick layer of PVA glue will work but is not as robust.
  6. Maybe you could add plasticine trees and houses to your model or collect twigs, sand or pebbles and decorate your volcano.

You must check with an adult before you erupt your volcano – it can be very messy and you don’t want to dye yourself or anything in your house!

You will need:

  • Bicarbonate of Soda (2 tablespoons per volcano)
  • Vinegar or lemon juice (½ cup per volcano)
  • Red water dye/ food colouring (a few drops per volcano)
  • Washing up liquid (a few drops per volcano)
  • Safety goggles/coats/tabards to protect clothing.


  1. Add the vinegar/lemon juice to the hollow inside the volcano
  2. Add the food colouring/water dye to the vinegar/lemon juice
  3. Add the washing up liquid to the mix and stir
  4. Drop 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda inside the hollow of the volcano.
  5. The ‘lava’ should bubble and flow from the volcano.

We highly recommend you only erupt this volcano outside so as not to redecorate your living room!

Do you want to create a more violent eruption? Do you want to opt for a much bigger volcano and an even greater mess? We have conducted many experiments before deciding on the best and most consistent eruptions. Here is how we do it!

  1. Create your volcano using a 1 litre fizzy drinks bottle as the core.
  2. Add the food colouring and washing up liquid to the fizzy pop (we find diet tonic water works best).
  3. Open a pack of polo mints carefully and place a straw down the centre.
  4. Remove the packaging leaving you with all the mints still held together on the straw.
  5. Drop the polo mints into the fizzy drink mix all at once using the straw to line them over the top of the bottle.
  6. Step back!