Oh boy! This simple pumpkin volcano activity goes wayyyyyy 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 capture a kid’s love of science, so why not encourage it with this fun pumpkin science activity with a volcano theme. Here, we make science activities and STEM projects simple. More fun and less frustration.
PUMPKIN VOLCANO ACTIVITY
PUMPKIN SCIENCE AND CHEMISTRY
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 is an awesome example of a chemical reaction, and kids love these amazing reactions just as much as adults! The erupting pumpkin science experiment 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 volcanos too.
We have a whole season of fun pumpkin themed activities to try! 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 activities.
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 with in 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 some more chemistry activities here.
Can you see the expression on his face! He’s 9 now and still loves it!
PUMPKIN VOLCANO SUPPLIES AND SET UP
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
Container (to catch the fizz)
Knife to carve out hole (for adults to do!)
PUMPKIN VOLCANO SET UP!
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..
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!
- You can then have the kiddos put about a 1/4 of a cup of baking soda into the pumpkin.
- Add a squirt of dish soap if you want a foamier eruption! The chemical eruption will produce more frothier bubbles with the added dish soap and create more overflow too!
- Add a few drops of food coloring. You can also add food coloring to the vinegar for a deeper color eruption.
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 also 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 here.
SIMPLE PUMPKIN VOLCANO SCIENCE AND CHEMISTRY
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, and in this case a gas called carbon dioxide.In this case you have an acid (liquid: vinegar) and a base solid: baking soda) when combined make a gas called carbon dioxide which produces the eruption you can see.
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 of the apple or overflows the apple because of the small vessel we have given it.
In this baking soda and vinegar pumpkin volcano, 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.
You can experiment with several pumpkin shapes to find your perfect volcano vessel or create a more traditional one. We have enjoyed a variety of volcano projects with different fruits as well as a LEGO volcano and an easy sandbox volcano activity. No pumpkin? Grab a fun container from the dollar store with a fall theme!
ERUPTING PUMPKIN VOLCANO FOR FALL CHEMISTRY IS A HIT!