My son is a huge dinosaur fan and when we filled out our Summer Goals Lists, 4 our of his 10 goals revolved around dinosaurs. He wanted to build a landscape with a volcano to use with his dinosaurs when he played with them, so we decided we would make one. I wanted it to last longer than just one "explosion" so the traditional paper mache volcano was not going to be in our best interest and we came up with another idea using spray foam insulation.
We used a sturdy scrap board so that we could easily transport the volcano and it would stand many play time episodes.We also used a 2L bottle, duct tape, spray foam insulation (we used a whole can), newspaper, spray paint, homemade playdough, and sticks.
To start off, we duct taped the 2L bottle to the board.
Next we stuffed crumpled newspaper underneath the duct tape and reinforced the ends of the duct tape with more duct tape so that they don't pull up.
This next step you will want to do for the kids and do it inside a large box or at least outside on the grass in case you overspray. Spray foam insulation over the volcano and allow to sit for a couple hours before moving. Allow to cure overnight before painting. I thought the use of the spray insulation gives it more of a rocky look that you can't get from paper mache typically.
I placed the volcano in a large box (now deemed our painting box - LOL!) and taught the kids how to use spray paint. You can just imagine how excited they were that their mom was actually teaching them how to use spray paint and allowing them to use it.
We used all leftover cans of spray paint, which is why we have black and grey and red. Plus we thought the black and grey looked like volcanic rocks and the red looked like lava.
You can see how proud my son is of his volcano. It is turning out so much better than we ever imagined and we are still not finished. What you don't see here is that we took old homemade playdough and applied it to the board to be the ground and allow us to stick bare sticks in (they had to be bare because the lave burned them) :)
Now it is time to make it explode! You need baking soda, vinegar, food coloring (if you want your "lava" to have some color) and dish soap (optional, but it will foam out thicker more like lava.)
Using a funnel, pour 1/4 C of baking soda in to the bottom of the volcano.
In another cut mix together about 1T of dish soap. a few drops of food coloring and 1/2 C vinegar
Pour the vinegar mixture in to the funnel and quickly remove the funnel to watch the lava.
Below is a little video of one of their attempts at making lava flow from their homemade volcano. I think it is safe to say that my kids loved this experiment and project.