If a child is old enough to scoop out the seeds of the pumpkin, they will enjoy preparing the pumpkin volcano. Some cooks don’t use measuring spoons; they add a scoop of this and a pinch of that. Adding the ingredients for the pumpkin volcano science experiment is the same. It doesn’t matter if the toddler adds the vinegar first or last.
Supplies Needed For The Pumpkin Volcano
- Small pumpkin for each kid
- Liquid dish soap
- Baking soda
- Tray or dish to catch the messy volcano
- Red food coloring(optional)
What Mystery Are We Solving?
Why do baking soda and dish soap erupt into a fizzy volcano that pours out of the relatively empty pumpkin when added to vinegar?
There’s nothing particularly dangerous about this experiment. Have an adult present to help and use common sense. After an adult cut off the top of the pumpkin, kids can take over.
How To Make A Pumpkin Volcano
- Cut an opening at the smallest part of the pumpkin: the smaller the opening, the more exciting the volcano eruption. Keep the pumpkin lid.
- Cut out the stem area and remove the seeds. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the seeds.
- Place the pumpkin on the tray or dish to catch some of the messy lava eruptions.
- Pour vinegar into the pumpkin.
- Add a few drops of red food coloring to create volcanic lava.
- Add a few drops of dish soap to the volcano.
- Add a few spoons of baking soda and step back from the volcano pumpkin.
- Watch how the pumpkin transforms into an erupting pumpkin volcano spurting out lava.
- Put the pumpkin lid back on the pumpkin and see how the lava oozes out between the top and the pumpkin.
There’s no order for adding the baking soda and vinegar. Some prefer to add the baking soda first and vinegar last. Some prefer to control the experiment to a certain degree by using eyedroppers to adding the vinegar.
What Just Happened In The Pumpkin Volcano Experiment?
Vinegar is an acid and baking soda a base. Adding acid to the base produces carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. The gas fizzes and bubbles. Dish soap slows the reaction for a more significant effect by trapping the gas bubbles, creating more foam and bubbles for the volcanic pumpkin eruption.
The chemical reaction stops when the pH stabilizes, and no more lava pours out of the volcano.