Volcanoes are a fascinating theme and kindergartners jump for joy whenever these magnificent structures are brought up. Everything from the scorching magma to the clouds of smoke and ash fills their minds with awe as the concept seems too big to understand.
Simplifying the concept with a range of activities will help them understand what is happening when these angry mountains erupt. but why stick to a boring old vinegar and soda experiment? There are tons of fun activities that put a new spin on volcano experiments, making them more colorful and playful.
Volcanoes are also a good metaphor for kids' emotions and there is even a book that helps them understand their own feelings a little better. Here is a look at some of the best volcano activities for preschool children to get them hyped up about this fun topic.
1. Zip-Lock Eruption
Combine a fun volcano lesson with a colorful lesson on color mixing. Add red and yellow paint to a Zip-Lock bag and let kids mix colors as the volcano erupts. The best part? It's mess-free!
Learn more: Happy Tot Shelf
2. Mini Volcano Activity
Instead of a messy classic volcano project, add some baking soda and white vinegar to a small yogurt cup for a quick mini volcano activity. Use some food coloring to make the volcano eruptions more playful.
Learn more: Preschool Toolkit
3. Rhyming Volcanoes
With a fun volcano template, you can turn almost any lesson into a volcano-themed one. This activity lets kids put rhyming words into the correct volcano. Print out the cards and shape the volcano cones and create an endless amount of games with this fun template.
Learn more: My Pre-K Box
4. Volcano Slime
This 2-in-1 slime experiment is a fun fizzy activity that leaves you with an unbeatable by-product: slime! Kids will learn a thing or two about acids and bases, be entertained by the slime, and thoroughly enjoy the bubbling concoction. And don't lie, all adults secretly want to play with slime too!
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
5. Ice Cream Volcano
This is another fun interpretation of a volcano experiment but beware: IT IS NOT EDIBLE! The ingredients include a tsp of dish soap and it remains a chemical reaction but the fun colors and ice-cream cone make it a visually appealing version.
Learn more: Kindergarten Worksheets and Games
6. Blow Paint Volcano
Pair your discussion about volcanoes with a fun craft like this blow-paint artwork. Cut a volcano from colored paper or paint it on a plain piece of paper and let kids blow red and yellow paint across the page with a straw.
Learn more: Lup Wai Parent Whisperer
7. Underwater Volcano
When discussing earth & volcanoes, kids will learn that there are different volcanoes both above ground and under the water. This fascinating experiment will show them how the latter could work and why it is very interesting to learn about.
Learn more: Mom Brite
Download a "v is for volcano" phonics sheet and let kids color the dots on the "v". They can also use paint colors like red and yellow to do fingerpaint inside the dots if you want to turn it into a more hands-on activity. Let kids practice writing the word while they are at it!
Learn more: Living Montessori Now
9. Rainbow Volcano
What is more fun than a soda vinegar volcano explosion? A RAINBOW soda vinegar volcano explosion! This version is quick and easy and will leave your child in awe as the reaction between acids takes place. Add the cups with baking soda and food coloring into a tray to keep the mess at bay.
Learn more: Beyond the Playroom
10. Lemon Volcano
This natural (and non-toxic) chemical reaction will imitate a volcanic eruption and it is perfectly safe for kids to do.
Learn more: Teaching Exceptional Thinkers
11. Volcano Dance
It seems there is a kooky dance for every topic, but we don't see kids complaining about it! This fun volcano dance mimics an explosion and will have kids begging for multiple repeats.
Learn more: Dance 'n Beats Lab
12. Easy Volcano Craft
Pre-kindergarten teachers can tell you that "volcanoes" is the perfect topic for all manner of arts and crafts projects. This quick and easy craft takes pieces of paper and a painted paper plate.
Learn more: Woo Jr.
13. Hand Print Volcano
Some clay and pipe cleaners make the perfect craft supplies to make a tiny volcano. Kids can create the different phases of a volcano and create the different shapes that volcanoes come in.
Learn more: Sorting Sprinkles
14. Color By Number
A color-by-number worksheet is always a fun filler activity for any theme. Download this free template and keep it on hand for kids that finish their arts-and-crafts volcanoes early.
Learn more: My Teaching Station
15. Inside the Volcano
Volcano explosions are fun but seeing the inner workings of these natural marvels is just as fascinating. Build a volcano cone around a plastic container and add secondary vents to show kids that the lava comes from all angles of the actual volcanoes on earth.
Learn more: 123 Homeschool for Me
16. Scrap Paper Diagram
Tissue paper makes a great replacement for lava on a craft picture. Let students write down the basic parts of an erupting volcano or pre-print the names on labels for them to stick on the image.
Learn more: Paula's Primary Classroom
17. Watch an Educational Video
The popular Dr. Binocs show is a great youtube series for pre-schoolers. The show gives easy-to-understand information about all-natural disasters including volcanoes.
Learn more: Peekaboo Kidz
18. The Floor is Lava
Science lessons can be taxing on young minds so it is important to diversify between STEM activities and some physical play. The floor is lava is a fun way to incorporate the theme in an active lesson.
Learn more: The Many Little Joys
19. Earth Layer Craft
Volcanoes are more than just conical natural disasters waiting to happen. There is a lot happening beneath the surface that kids should be aware of. This papercraft gives them a clear view of all the complexities below the bubbling volcano.
Learn more: Homeschool Preschool
20. Watermelon Volcano
When a small volcanic explosion just won't cut it, but you are too short on time to build a big paper mache version, head to the grocery store for the perfect replacement. Hollow out a watermelon to make a huge explosion of baking soda and white vinegar. Kids love this giant volcano!
Learn more: Preschool Play and Learn
21. Play-Doh Earth Layers
If you want a more hands-on way to show kids the layers below the surface, try making an Earth out of play-doh. Kids can clearly see the molten core in the middle that slowly makes its way out to the crust when a volcano erupts.
Learn more: We Are Teachers
22. Fizzy Paint
Mix art and science with this crafty idea. Mix baking soda with washable paint and paint lava onto a volcano. Once the masterpiece is done, simply drop some white vinegar on the picture and watch the lava fizzle!
Learn more: The Craft at Home Family
23. Volcano Mosaic
Kids love ripping up colored paper into all the little pieces needed for this craft. Print out the parts of a volcano and let kids label it or let them write it as revision if they are able to.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
24. Read a Book
This charming book takes the theme of volcanoes and applies it to a deeper lesson that kids can apply to themselves. Emotions sometimes make them feel like little volcanoes just wanting to bubble up.
Learn more: Julia Cook
25. Clay Tube Volcano
Volcanoes are made bigger as lava spills over the edge for millennia and now kids can create a mini version to recreate this phenomenon.
Learn more: Toddler Approved
26. Landform Diorama
The land around a volcano is equally as interesting so why not have kids make a diorama of the whole landscape. Egg cartons make the perfect surface structures and a little bit of paint quickly shows what is a river and what is a mountain.
Learn more: A Little Pinch of Perfect
27. Cheerio Volcano
After a long day of volcano-themed learning, kids will love digging into this yummy peanut butter cheerio treat. Top it off with red icing to complete the cute volcano.
Learn more: Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten
28. Volcano Hats
Why not let kids wear fun hats while learning about volcanoes? These cardboard hats only need a little tissue paper at the top and BOOM, you have a volcano hat!
Learn more: Natalie Menke
29. Pop-Rock Volcano
Spruce up a boring old vinegar and soda volcano by adding pop rocks into the mix. They add a super fun noisy twist to this classic kids' craft. See if you can add other ingredients for a bigger explosion.
Learn more: Inspirational Laboratories
30. Magma Demonstration
The concept of magma breaking through the earth's crust is difficult for kids to wrap their minds around but a simplified demonstration will help them understand it better. Use a tube of toothpaste and press it through a yogurt tub full of loose dirt. Pro Tip: use cinnamon toothpaste for a red version or drop some red food coloring into the tube before the demonstration.
Learn more: Learn Play Imagine