An interest in volcanoes started when one was spotted on the side of the Sculpey clay box we had out last week. We made our own that day, baked it and painted it. There were many questions about volcanoes, and when I mentioned I had pictures I was asked if they could be seen right then. In an effort to take Dr. Montessori's own advice on working with children, I decided to "follow the child" in this case, the interest in volcanoes, and later put this together to have out in the Montessori room for an activity along with some information about volcanoes.
The volcano is made of Crayola clay. The tray is from take out Sushi- we will have to go back because these are perfect for make your own land and water forms, too! I put a very small jar inside it to hold the baking soda and vinegar.
Materials needed are all on the tray. The child should be successful with pouring, spooning, leveling, using a funnel, using a dropper and clean-up routines.
The child pours a cup full of vinegar from the bottle.
The child takes a full teaspoon of baking soda and levels it with the utensil.
Using the funnel, the baking soda is put into the volcano.
The funnel is removed from the volcano. One full dropper at a time is added to the volcano which causes an eruption. My daughter also poured from the cup sometimes, which created a more dramatic eruption. The child uses the full cup of vinegar and once it is empty they are finished.
Some of the vocabulary I used was eruption, volcano and lava. It was a lot of fun for my daughter, and simple enough for her to use on her own whenever she wants to.
The child pours the erupted lava into the small bucket using the corner of the tray. Materials are wiped dry with the cloth.
I also put out some National Geographic pictures of volcanoes along with some real lava rocks and the magnifying glass.