Oh boy! This simple pumpkin volcano activity goes way back! I set up this EASY fall science activity for my son 5 years ago. To this day we still love all sorts of erupting chemistry experiments. The amazement of a fizzy reaction is the perfect way to grow a kid’s love of science, so why not encourage it with this fun pumpkin science activity. Here, we make science activities simple. More fun and less frustration!
CHEMISTRY PUMPKIN ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
Fall is the perfect time to experiment with pumpkins and apples. They are PERFECT for so many fun ways to explore science.
Our erupting pumpkin volcano activity below is an awesome example of a chemical reaction. Kids love these amazing experiments just as much as adults! Our erupting pumpkin volcano uses baking soda and vinegar for a classic chemical reaction. You could also try lemon juice and baking soda and compare the results! Check out our lemon volcano too!
We have a whole season of fun pumpkin science activities to try. Repeating experiments in different ways really helps to solidify understanding of the concepts being presented. Holidays and seasons present numerous occasions for you to re-invent some of these classic science experiments.
WHAT IS CHEMISTRY?
This might look more like play than learning, but it’s so much more! Read our newest series on Next Generation Science Standards.
Let’s keep it basic for our younger or junior scientists! Chemistry is all about the way different materials are put together, and how they are made up including atoms and molecules. It’s also how these materials act under different conditions. Chemistry is often a base for physics, so you should plan to see some overlap!
What might you experiment within chemistry? Classically we think of a mad scientist and lots of bubbling beakers, and yes there are plenty of reactions between bases and acids to enjoy! Also, chemistry involves states of matter, changes, solutions, mixtures, and the list goes on and on.
We will be exploring simple chemistry you can do at home or in the classroom that isn’t too crazy, but is still lots of fun for kids! All of our experiments are easy to set up and inexpensive for home or classroom use and groups!
You can check out more chemistry activities here.
Can you see the expression on his face below! He’s 9 now and still loves it!
PUMPKIN VOLCANO EXPERIMENT
This pumpkin volcano can get a bit messy in a fun way! Make sure to have a surface or area you can easily clean up. You can even start by placing your pumpkin in a pie dish or a large mixing bowl to catch the overflow.
- Small Baking Pumpkin
- Baking Soda
- Food Coloring
- Dish Soap
- Container (to catch the fizz)
- Knife to carve out the hole (for adults to do!)
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN VOLCANO
STEP 1. Grab a pumpkin! You can use just about any pumpkin, white or orange.
Baking pumpkins are usually a great size, and you can pick them up in your local grocery store. You can use mini pumpkins too.
STEP 2. An adult should use a knife to cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin. Next, you will want to clean out the guts. You can even save them for a pumpkin squish bag!
STEP 3. You can then have the kiddos put about a 1/4 of a cup of baking soda into the pumpkin.
STEP 4. Add a squirt of dish soap if you want a foamier eruption! The chemical eruption will produce frothier bubbles with the added dish soap and create more overflow too!
STEP 5. Add a few drops of food coloring. You can also add food coloring to the vinegar for a deeper color eruption.
STEP 6. You will want to pour your vinegar into an easy to use container for the kiddos. If you pour straight from a container into the pumpkin, you will produce a more dramatic volcano effect.
Now get ready to watch the fun as your pumpkin volcano erupts!
I think you will find a volcano science activity never gets dull…
You can go ahead and try it again! What happens if you make a Jack O’Lantern face in the pumpkin first. Check out our erupting Jack O’Lantern.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Chemistry is all about states of matter including liquids, solids, and gasses. A chemical reaction occurs between two or more substances that change and form a new substance. In this case a gas called carbon dioxide.
The carbon dioxide escapes the mixture in the form of bubbles. You can even hear them if you listen closely. The bubbles are heavier than air, so the carbon dioxide collects at the surface or overflows the pumpkin because of the small vessel we have given it.
The dish soap is added to collect the gas and form bubbles that give it a more robust pumpkin volcano lave like flow down the side! That equals more fun!
You don’t have to add dish soap but it’s worth a try. Or you can even set up an experiment to see which eruption you like more.
MORE FUN BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR REACTIONS
You can experiment with several pumpkin shapes to find your perfect volcano vessel or create a more traditional one. Check out some of the ways we have enjoyed this simple chemical reaction.
ERUPTING PUMPKIN VOLCANO FOR FALL CHEMISTRY IS A HIT!
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