Ending the Summer with an Eruption
We had a lot of fun this summer with Lego Club! Highlights from the past few months include zip lines, an egg drop contest, marshmallow catapults, and, of course, Lego volcanoes!
To create the eruptions, each child was given a small water bottle that they then built their volcano around, leaving access to the water bottle opening so we could add our lava ingredients. The kids built 5 total volcanoes of various sizes and shapes. They also had fun adding Lego figures and other accessories to their designs to see what would happen when the "lava" hit!
For our lava recipe, we put baking soda in the water bottles then added a mixture of vinegar, dish detergent, and red food coloring. We tweaked our recipe a few times and performed 7 total eruptions, each bigger than the last!
The kids had a blast - they even enjoyed the clean-up when we got out the hose to spray everything down! Lego volcanoes was a great way to end the summer and the kids loved the addition of science to our Lego Club challenge.
Thinking of making a Lego volcano at home? We learned a few useful things from our experimenting:
- Adding food coloring made the eruption more lava-like, but it was also really messy! The kids (and I) ended up with red dye all over our hands.
- After a lot of experimenting, we found the best recipe to be 2 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/2 a cup of vinegar mixed with a few drops of food coloring and detergent.
- The detergent was key! I just happened to bring apple-scented dish detergent with me and, not only did it up the amount of lava bubbles, it completely masked the horrible vinegar smell from all the volcanoes. Plus, the added dish detergent helped during clean-up!
- Be prepared for the amount of work involved in cleaning the Lego pieces after the eruption. The kids and I hosed down the volcanoes to get red of most of the "lava", but that alone wasn't enough to clean them. After their initial rinse, the volcanoes had to be dismantled and all the bricks got a thorough cleaning with soap and water. Don't skip this step - just rinsing the bricks doesn't get rid of the baking soda residue, which means all your Lego pieces will have a powdery coating on them.
Summer may be over, but we still have lots of fun Lego Club challenges coming up this fall. Be sure to join us on Wednesday at 4pm! Lego Club is geared toward kids 10 and up, but all are welcome to join us!