Lava Lamp

Marbles Rings

Create your own lava lamp using household materials. Explore how density and effervescence work together to make colors swirl and move. 

What You Need: 

  • Water 
  • Liquid dish soap 
  • Vegetable oil 
  • Alka seltzer 
  • Food dye 
  • Jar 

What You Do: 

  1. Fill the jar up 3/4th of the way with oil. 
  2. Fill the rest with water. 
  3. Add a few drops of food dye.  
  4. Break your Alka-Seltzer into small pieces. 
  5. Drop the pieces into the jar. 
  6. Allow the bubbles to form. 
  7. Watch the magic happen. 
  8. Seal the jar. 

Words to Use: 

  • Density: The degree to which an area is filled with people or things. 
  • Liquid: A substance that will fill the shape of the container that it is in. 
  • Effervescent: A liquid that produces bubbles of gas. 
  • Polarity: Chemicals and substances can be positive or negatively charged.  
  • Volume: A measurement of the amount of space that a substance or object fills 

Questions to Ask:  

  • What do you notice about the water and oil when it rests?  
  • Why do you think the oil floats to the top and then sinks again? 
  • What if you used syrup instead of oil? 
  • Can you hear the bubbles? 

Change It Up: 

  • Age It Down: Just add food dye, water and oil to the jar and shake it. Watch as the oil and water separate into different layers. 
  • Age It Up: Add all the ingredients and alka seltzer to create the swirling lava lamp.

Learning Connections:  

  • Creativity 
  • Curiosity 
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) 
  • Fine Motor Development 
  • Using Tools 

Curriculum Connections:
NC Standard Course of Study 

  • Science: K.P.2, EX.2.P.2.1, 3.P.2, 5.P.2 
  • Math: NC.3.NF.1, NC.5.MD.4 

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