Kids ‘Lava’ Explosions: A How-To on Vinegar Volcanoes

January 29, 2021 York, Maine

Remember when you and your classmates would put on those fun science glasses, throw on a lab coat and get ready to make an awesome volcanic explosion? Growing up, that was one of my favorite memories in science class.

Clearly the teacher was trying to teach us the reaction between a base and an acid. The simple exercise was a hands-on lesson on how bases and acids have different parts of water. We learned that base contain an OH, an oxygen and hydrogen atom, which combined together is known as hydronium. Acids contain the other H, one hydrogen. The two join together and form water, breaking away from the acid and base to react.

Ok - I admit, as a kid, all of that information barely retained because I just wanted to see an explosion. I mean… who doesn’t? I actually asked my friend’s daughter if she ever did this in class and her exact words were, “Any kid my age who doesn’t do it is missing out on the most fun, especially when you get to add purple to it. Purple is my favorite color.”

So yes, this experiment is approved by the people who can be some of the hardest critics around… the youngins’.

The Why. So, why exactly does baking soda and vinegar react into a fun, colorful explosion? They react because one is a base (baking soda) and one is an acid (vinegar). When they react to release the OH and the H to become water, they also release carbon dioxide which makes the reaction bubble and expand!

Where do you get the color? Unfortunately, the colorful part doesn’t just appear but to add some fun, we recommend adding a few drops of Wilton’s Gel Food Coloring, completely safe and kid-friendly!

Ready for some science fun? Grab your jar of Vermont Village’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and have fun…

What you need:

Step One. Combine the vinegar, water, dish soap, and 2 - 3 drops of food coloring in the empty soda bottle.

Step Two. Pour the baking soda mix in the bottle and … step back!

Margaux Maertens Communications Specialist

Margaux joined the Stonewall Kitchen family two years ago as the Events and Marketing Coordinator for Stonewall Kitchen where she flipped pancakes at the annual Pancake Breakfast and decorated pumpkins during the Halloween festivities! Margaux became Stonewall Kitchen’s Communications Specialist in February of 2018 and is loving every minute of it.