Cai Neilson

Lava Lamp Science Experiment


Lava Lamp Science Experiment

This lava lamp experiment is super cool! Your kids will love exploring coloured water and oil, but a surprise ingredient will make this science activity even more exciting! It’s always a hit with the kids. So, grab a few household supplies and give this lava lamp science activity a try!

As part of our science lessons this school year, we are trying out all kinds of really neat science experiments and activities. This lava lamp experiment tops the list!

Both of my kids had a blast with this. We’ve actually done it several times and with all different colours, but it never ceases to amaze them. It’s almost shocking how long they will engage with it.

One great thing about this science experiment is that you only need a few supplies and your probably already have most of them in your home or classroom.

*Disclaimer: Adult supervision is required for this experiment. You must supervise your children at all times while doing it.

Supplies Needed:
• Vegetable Oil
• Water
• Food colouring – primary colours or neon
• Original Alka Seltzer tablets

To begin, colour about 1/2 cup of water with food colouring. I like using these gel food colours for vibrant colouring.

Take the Alka Seltzer tablets and break them into 2 or 3 pieces. Place them in a small cup or container.
Fill a glass about 3/4 full with vegetable oil. Then pour in the coloured water until the liquid in the cup is about 1-2 inches from the top.

You don’t want it to overflow! Well, unless you want to turn it into an eruption experiment too. For this reason and quick cleanup, I like to do this on a tray. Let the children take turns adding a piece of an Alka Seltzer table to the cup.

*DO NOT let them put the tablet in their mouth at any time.

Why this Science Experiment Works

The water and oil do not mix and the oil doesn’t change colour because the food colouring is water soluble. The Alka Seltzer reacts with the water to make bubbles of carbon dioxide. The bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of coloured water and bring them to the top of the glass. When the bubbles pop the blobs of coloured water fall back to the bottom of the glass.

A cool lava lamp science experiment that your kids will love!

This lava science experiment is sure to WOW your kids. They may even ask you to do it over and over again like mine did!




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