January 6, 2014

Volcano Science for Kids

Magma Rock Demonstration - Science for Kids

Simple volcano science for kids demonstrating how magma breaks through the surface of the earth creating an eruption.  All you need is toothpaste, dirt, and an empty container!

We have been reading about volcanoes this week for JZ's (6) science lessons.  What kid isn't fascinated by volcanoes?  All four of mine are certainly enthralled with anything that erupts.  We love playing with baking soda and vinegar and other cool reactions, but for this demonstration I wanted JZ to see how a volcano is actually formed.  I'm of the opinion that learning should be fun, and I do my best to set up opportunities for hands on science for my kids.  This volcano demo was no exception.

  • toothpaste
  • empty yogurt container
  • dirt
  • tool for cutting a hole in the container

I used a pair of scissors to pierce a hole in the bottom of an empty (and clean) yogurt container.  I stuck one of the blades of the scissors further in the hole then twisted to make the hold the size of the toothpaste opening.  I pushed the toothpaste tube through the hole.  JZ filled the container about 2/3 of the way with dirt.  Then he started squeezing the toothpaste.

Simple volcano science for kids, demonstrating how magma breaks through the surface of the earth.

The loose dirt represents the surface of the earth.  The toothpaste represents magma rock as it breaks through the earth's crust.

JZ kept commenting on how good the dirt smelled as the toothpaste pushed through the dirt.

Of course, erupting demos are usually the most fun.  Some of our favorite ways to make eruptions include eruptions with Kool Aid and paint, ABC erupting sidewalk chalk paint, color surprise eruptions, erupting foam dough, and candy eruptions

For more hands on science for kids follow me on Pinterest.

Magma rock demonstration for kids - A simple science demo to learn how volcanoes occur.

Click the links below for more hands on science activities for kids:



  1. Once again Brilliant Allison! What a great hands on way to learn.

  2. Def want to try this, love that you've used real earth.

  3. Wow - great idea. I love how you can observe how magma breaks through the Earth's crust. Great hands-on science!

  4. Thank you, finally a fun experiment that is actually how volcanos work. I get so frustrated with the baking soda vinegar volcano which is more about chemistry than earth science. Yeah it's fun, but it's not about volcanos.
    This is a great volcano activity!


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I love reading your feedback. Have a blessed day!