Erupting Island Volcanoes

eruptingvolcanoes Try this attention grabbing activity before discussing how some islands are formed. The fizzing, erupting volcano looks like the real thing! As the volcano lava and ash fall, an underwater island starts to appear!


  • Show how a volcano can create landforms, and do it on a small budget with limited space!
  • This activity shows the volcano erupting, the ash cloud forming and the lava and ashes falling to create an island! Show how ash clouds can stick around for long periods of time, even after the volcano has stopped erupting
  • Lead into discussion on how the Hawaiian Islands came to be

Before You Start: You’ll need a supply of oil, dish soap, water, droppers, a clear container, and a pack of Color Mixer Tablets.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Fill your container about a quarter-half inch with oil.

Step 2. Pour a 3" circle of soap into the middle of the oil.

Step 3. Drop a color tablet into the middle of the soap (red is good for this).

Step 4. Take your dropper and fill it with water.

Step 5. Drop a large circle of water within the soap, right over the color tablet and wait.

Step 6. Within seconds, you should have a fizzing, red volcano that creates an active volcano!

Step 7. When you’re all done, or the volcano fizzes out, you should be able to see an underwater “island” from the top view.

Step 8. Explain that if this certain volcano was to erupt on a regular basis, land would form underwater and eventually build up to an above water landform, or an island!

Furthermore: As the teacher, you’ll want to try this a couple of times to make sure that you have the right oil to soap to water ratio for the specific container that you’ll be using.

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