Erupting Playdough Volcano

All the kindergarten classes at my son’s school celebrated the end of the year with a fun luau party, so I asked a few other bloggers what they thought the easiest way to make an erupting volcano was (I didn’t feel like making one out of paper-mache even though this one by Zing Zing Tree looks pretty awesome).  And I loved the idea of making a volcano out of dirt, however I didn’t think the school would be too happy with me digging or adding dirt to their yard.

So Toddler Approved, Growing a Jeweled Rose and Mommy and Me Book Club all recommended we make one out of play dough.  I ended up following the directions off of Create-kids-crafts website.  I didn’t take pictures of the volcanoes I made for my son’s school, however I promised my son’s friend I would make him a volcano over the summer. But before we get started….I just want to give a big thank you to one of my young readers, Claire, who found a very interesting article on Volcanoes and Volcanic Glass that is a great read for those who want to learn more about volcanoes.


  • Homemade play dough: water, flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil and food coloring (click here for recipe)
  • Baking sheet (I used a jelly roll pan)
  • Water bottle
  • Scissors
  • Tin foil
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Food coloring (optional)


First cut the water bottle in half.

Place the water bottle on the baking tray and start wrapping aluminum foil over the rim of the bottle.  You want to create the shape of the volcano. I think I used about 5 strips to shape this volcano, and then I trimmed a bit off the base.

Take the play dough that you made and roll it out.   Cut off a big piece and wrap it around the tin foil.  Make sure you lay it gently on the foil so it doesn’t collapse the volcano.

Roll out the play dough again and continue to cover the volcano.  I covered the volcano in 3 sections of play dough.

Here’s how it looks finished.  I added a few dinosaurs and some red food coloring for fun.

Next take about 2 tablespoons of baking soda and place it into the mouth of the water bottle.

I premixed about 4 cups of vinegar with red food coloring.  And then I poured some vinegar into a smaller measuring cup for the kids.  They will need about 1/2 cup -1 cup to make their volcanoes erupt.

Have the kids add the colored vinegar into the mouth of the volcano to watch it erupt!

The kids will love it and want to do it over and over again. 😉

Once the kids are done with it, just toss it in the trash.