How to make a Lava Lamp with Oil and Water!
A recent Harvard study shows that children are heavily influenced by their experiences in early childhood. Hence parents with very young children are often on the lookout for activities that invoke their sense of curiosity and wonder. While all this is important, it can sometimes be challenging to carve out the time and effort needed to keep your little ones engaged. Managing work and chores while keeping your child engaged can prove to be testing. But here is a solution – The DIY Lava Lamp, an all-rounder package – minimal setup, easy to execute, curiosity invoking and most of all, extremely fun to do.
So let’s build the lava lamp!
- Vegetable oil
- Food colour/ Fountain Pen Ink
- Baking soda and vinegar or 1 tablet of aspirin/ ‘Eno antacid tablet’
- 1 glass/mason jar
Time: 10 minutes
When using baking soda and vinegar:
- Put two tablespoons of baking soda at the bottom of the glass/mason jar
- Fill approximately ¼ of the glass/mason jar with cold water
- Add the food colour to the water and mix it well, don’t bother if all of the baking soda doesn’t get dissolved
- Fill the remaining glass/mason jar with vegetable oil to the brim, leaving only about an inch empty at the top
- Take around five tablespoons of vinegar
- Put the vinegar in the glass/mason jar and enjoy the reaction
- Your lava lamp is ready!
When using aspirin/’Eno’ tablet:
- Fill up to ¾ of t the glass/mason jar with vegetable oil
- Fill the remaining ¼ of the glass/mason jar with water, leaving about an inch empty at the top
- Add 3-4 drops of the food colour to the water and oil solution and mix it well
- Drop in the aspirin/’Eno’ antacid tablet into the solution and enjoy the reaction
- Your lava lamp is ready!
You can add another round of vinegar/ aspirin to the solution, once the reaction stops. It will be like watching the whole experiment all over again. You can also explore further by doing the same activity with different food colours. Your children will love watching the various streams of colourful bubbles.
There’s also a lot your little ones can learn from this fun activity. You can ask your child the following questions after this experiment:
- Why did the water and oil not mix-up?
- Why were there bubbles in the oil when vinegar/aspirin was added?
Even elementary concepts like the difference of densities in liquids – water being denser than oils and the science behind the formation of bubbles, trying to pop and escape, can be fascinating to young minds trying to come to terms with the strange and wonderful world around them.
This activity can also lead to further discussions on topics like solids, liquids and gasses, the density of different types of liquids etc. The lava lamp is surely going to make children go buzzing with questions in their head, inciting curiosity just as is needed at their age.
Did you try making your DIY Lava Lamp? How did it go? Tell us in the comments below.
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Image Credits: DLPNG, Omkar Hande
Charu, a feminist and an accidental writer, is yet to master the art of writing about herself. Always curious to learn new stuff, she ends up spending a lot of time unlearning the incorrect lessons. She enjoys all sorts of stories – real, fictional, new, old, hers and would love hearing yours too. Feel free to ping her at email@example.com to share anything that you think is worth sharing.