How to Make Volcano Dough

by Christi Aldridge
Simulate the action of a real volcano erupting with a home project.

Simulate the action of a real volcano erupting with a home project.

NA/ Images

Whether it's for a class experiment, science fair or just to entertain a few bored kids, it's easy to create the raw material for a volcano. Salt dough, the basic component of a simple volcano, features ingredients you likely have around the house. Once you make the dough, all you have to do is build a volcano and get ready for it to erupt.

Items you will need

  • Large mixing bowl
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 cups salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil or cooking oil
  • Cookie sheet
  • 2-liter soda bottle, clean and empty
  • Red food coloring
  • Water
  • LIquid dishwashing soap
  • Baking soda
Step 1

Pour the flour and salt into the mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients well using your fingers.

Step 2

Add in about half of the water and half of the oil, reserving the rest.

Step 3

Work the dough with your hands, mixing the wet and dry ingredients together.

Step 4

Add in the rest of the water and oil. Knead the dough well with your hands and fingers, working all of the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. The dough should be moist. If it feels like it is dry to the touch, add a small amount of water and work it in.

Step 5

Knead the dough until all of the ingredients are combined and the dough is pliable and smooth. Add more water, more oil or both if necessary to achieve the right consistency.

Step 6

Place an empty soda bottle on the center of a cookie sheet to begin creating the volcano.

Step 7

Mound the salt dough you've made over the bottle and around it, creating the shape of a volcano.

Step 8

Squeeze a bit of red food coloring into the bottle, and fill the bottle almost all the way with warm tap water. Add 6 drops of liquid dishwashing soap and 2 tbsp. of baking soda.

Step 9

Allow the volcano to dry overnight so the salt dough can harden.

Step 10

Activate the volcano by pouring vinegar into the bottle. Baking soda and vinegar produce a chemical reaction that will cause the mixture to bubble out, simulating a volcanic eruption.

Photo Credits

  • NA/ Images