This week, we made a lava lamp science experiment and it was so much fun! Since it’s spring, we used fun Easter colors for our lava lamp experiment, but you can use whatever colors your kids love the most!
If you haven’t tried doing the lava lamp chemical reaction yet, make this your year! It’s such a fun and simple addition to no-prep STEM activities.
How to Make a Lava Lamp with Baby Oil
Find out how to make your lava lamp science experiment right here!
Why Do Science Activities at Home?
I like to do our own experiments at home because my kids love using seasonal themes in their science experiments. Adding a seasonal twist to any science experiment keeps it fresh, and you can focus on learning a new element of the science experiment when doing it multiple times.
Maybe the first time you focus on chemical reactions, but the next time you do the lava lamp science experiment you focus on acids and bases. There is always more to learn with every science experiment!
Science experiments can get a bit boring if you do them over and over again. But if you bring in seasonal elements for each holiday, then even common science experiments become fresh again.
Don’t Miss: The complete list of Peeps STEM Activities
Lava Lamp Experiment Science
When you make a lava lamp, kids can learn a lot!
A lava lamp made with Alka-Seltzer tablets is a lesson in chemical reactions. Alka-Seltzer contains citric acid and baking soda, which react together when added to water.
This reaction creates carbon dioxide gas, which travels to the surface of the oil. The colored water gets carried up with the gas, making the jar bubble with colored lava lamp bubbles!
Use our science experiment worksheet to guide kids through the scientific method when completing this activity.
You may also want to try: The Peeps Density Science Experiment
Lava Lamp Science Project STEM Extensions
Science: Learn about endothermic reactions, acids and basics, and carbon dioxide.
Technology: What is an Alka-Seltzer tablet made of?
Engineering: Does changing the size of the container or amount of water or oil change the reaction?
Art: Lay a piece of paper across the top of the jar and see if you can capture the colored bubbles as they rise to the surface.
Math: How long does the reaction take from start to finish? How many bubbles does each tablet make?
How to Make a Lava Lamp for Kids
The lava lamp science experiment is a cinch to make, but they are the perfect bridge between science and the Easter holiday. Learn how to make it right here!
What you’ll need to make the lava lamp science experiment:
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
Johnson’s Baby Oil With Shea & Cocoa Butter, 20 Fl. OzCrisco, Pure Vegetable Oil, 48 ozGolden Spoon Mason Jars, With Regular Lids, And Lids for Drinking, Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free, (Set of 6) (8 oz)Food Coloring Liqua-Gel – 12 Color Variety Kit in .75 fl. oz. (20ml) BottlesAlka- Seltzer Lemon Lime, 36-Count (Pack of 2)
- Food coloring
- Alka-Seltzer tablets
- Baby oil or vegetable oil
- Magnifying glass
- Mason jars
Doing the Lava Lamp Science Experiment
Decide how many colors you want to make. We did a green, a pink, and a purple, but Easter colors also include light orange and light blue, and yellow.
You could divide your class up into groups of 3-4 and give each one a jar to experiment with.
Fill the jar 1/4 of the way with water. Add a few drops of food coloring.
Fill the jars 2/4 of the way full of oil. Don’t fill it all the way up with oil or when you add the tablets, the jars will overflow.
Break the Alka-Seltzer tablets into 4-6 pieces.
Drop one piece into the jar and watch the carbon dioxide gas carry the colored water to the top of the jar.
The more tablets you add, the stronger the bubbling reaction is. If you add too many tablet pieces, the jar can bubble up and overflow, and the lava lamp bubbles will break apart.
Adding less Alka-Seltzer tablet pieces will produce a truer “lava lamp” experience.
More Easy Science Experiments
Try these fun science experiments after completing your lava lamp!