Yesterday we built our second rainbow snow volcano in just over a week! This may be Jasper’s new favorite thing to do! To create this project all you need is some simple household items (until your child uses all of the vinegar and baking soda and you have to run to the store to replenish it)!
I started by preparing our vinegar, because I didn’t want to half to take off my gloves in the cold to mix the vinegar with different colors. I personally don’t trust food coloring not to stain my clothes, so we used washable finger paint. (Be careful! The yellow will still stain fabric! My kitchen curtains can attest to this!) I poured our vinegar into four separate containers and added a good amount of paint to each container. We used yellow, red, blue and green because those were the paint colors we had on hand. I sealed up the containers, grabbed our other supplies and headed outside with Jasper.
We started by creating a good sized base for our snow volcano. Then I dug out the center some and added our container (cut disposable water bottle). The container should not be too big or long. If you want a more dramatic “volcano blast” then you want that blast to have to travel as little a possible from the bottom of your container. I packed some snow around the top of the container to keep the edge of it from view. Then I allowed Jasper to pour baking soda into the hole at the top. We didn’t measure it, but since Jasper was doing it, it is safe to assume a large amount of baking soda went into the bottom of that bottle.
Starting with our lightest color (yellow) Jasper poured a bit of the vinegar mixture into the hole at the top of our snow volcano. A small eruption happened, to Jasper’s joy. I then told him to pour the remainder of the yellow vinegar into the hole. A much larger eruption took place! We found through trail and error that your get a much larger eruption if you pour the vinegar in all at once and very quickly.
Once done with the yellow vinegar, we poured out any remaining liquid in the bottom of the volcano container. Jasper add more baking soda and we moved onto the color red, repeating the process for blue and then green. The second time we did the project we added purple at the end.
Jasper play with the rainbow snow volcano did not stop there! Each time we made it we spent the next 30-45 minutes digging, shaping and exploring the volcano. He built a lot of tunnels through the volcano. Once it had completely fallen in on itself, we smoothed out the snow to see the pretty patterns all the colors made. Then we rebuilt the volcano again and Jasper excavated it all over again.
The second time we build the snow volcano Jasper brought dinosaur toys out to play with. Though, after he covered the dinosaurs with “lava” he soon went back to just digging in the snow with a spoon. We mixed the blue and red snow together and talked about how it made purple. We also mixed the blue and yellow snow together to make green!
This time we did less building of tunnels and more time digging for “treasure”. We sang “Heigh Ho” from Snow White and Jasper dug for “gold” while I unearthed “rubies, emeralds, and amethyst”. I asked Jasper what he would do with all of his treasure. He said he planned to hide it. Which he did, by scooping the “gold” into one of our containers and burying the container in the snow before “discovering” it once again.
I love how much Jasper enjoyed this project, and how his investigations with the colored snow changed so much from one experiment to the next. I highly recommend this project. I’m sure we will be doing it again!