Science Experiments For Kids:
How To Make An Easy Lava Lamp

You'll find making a lava lamp in our free e-book of the TOP TEN easy kids science experiments - that won't let you down!

Making your own homemade lava lamp has everything you would hope for in a kids science experiment.


  • Cheap
  • Easy
  • Has the essential WOW! factor
  • Teaches the wonder of  science
  • You'll have fun too


  • There's a FREE instruction sheet you can print out
Easy kids science experiment to make a diy lava lamp

You'll also find we've added a few secret homeschool tricks to make your experiment even more child friendly!

lava lamp

Easy Science Experiments

When it comes to science experiments for kids, simple is best. You'll find most of the ingredients you'll need in the kitchen.

  1. Clear jar with lid (a soda bottle is fine)
  2. Water
  3. Cooking oil
  4. Food coloring
  5. Alka-seltzer tablets (salt will work - but not so well)
ingredients for making a lava lamp

Homeschool Secrets

These are the extra ingredients you don't really need for this experiment but make it more fun!

  1. Glitter
  2. Sequins
  3. Flashlight

Simple Science

lava lamp

Just like in the real homeschool lava lamp you can see above that we bought for William's birthday, the childrens lamp you'll be making will get globs of oil to move through water like an erupting volcano.

How To Make A Lava Lamp

  • Fill your jar or soda bottle three quarters full of oil.
  • Fill to the top with water.
oil and water
  • Add some drops of food color to darken the water.
food coloring dissolving in water
  • Divide your alka-seltzer tablet into 8 parts and drop one in.
lava lamp bubbles
  • Your lava lamp will start erupting.  
  • You'll actually be proving that science experiments for kids are a great way of showing that the Alka-Seltzer tablet reacts with  water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. 

You can see the same effect if you try making a volcano - another of our favorite easy children's homeschool experiments.

Childrens Science Experiments

glitter and sequins added to the lava lamp

A great way to make homeschool science appeal to children is to make experiments fun!  We did that by adding some reindeer and glitter into the mix. 

Which goes to show that kids science experiments over Christmas are great fun for everyone!

Christmas kids science

See what happens to the Christmas tree:

gliiter and sequins in the lava lamp

Another way to make a lava lamp more realistic (and exploit your childrens love of playing in the dark) is to add a flashlight and shine the light through.

lava lamp lit by flashlight

Home School Science

The great thing about science experiments for kids is that they make amazing the science around us. 

Your experiment will have shown how oil and water are immiscible - they won't mix however hard you shake them! 

The carbon dioxide bubbles  attach themselves to the blobs of colored water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles pop, the color blobs sink back to the bottom of the bottle.

bottom of lava lamp

You can see a full explanation of the science behind real lava lamps on Wikipedia, including having fun watching this lamp in action:

Free Printable Instruction Sheet

You can get your free sheet showing you how to make a lava lamp here. 

You can get lots more in our free e-book: Ten Science Experiments that won't let you down!

ten science experiments that won't let you down e-book

Pages You Might Like

Click on the picture to go to the page.

See how to make a volcano model as part of our free e-book of the best ten kids experiments that won't let you down!
glo sticks experiments
Build a solar system model with free planets print out in this fabulous science projects for kids.

Want to remember this? Pin How To Make A Lava Lamp to your favorite Pinterest board!

How to make a lava lamp for a simple, fun and successful kids science experiment

Love this page? Help me spread the word by sharing...

blue arrow
free homeschool newsletter

FREE Homeschool Newsletter

"Just had a look through your monthly newsletter focusing on math. Thanks so much for all the links and ideas. It's brilliant!" ~ Diana      

"Hi....I totally love all your posts and enjoy reading them....the kids love the activities and enjoy them through and through." ~ Bianka

18,000 Facebook Fans

Enjoy This Page? Please Share It....

Sonya Chappell

Free Newsletter

Homeschool activities monthly newsletter

Homeschool Secrets of Success

Homeschool Secrets of Success
Amazon review
Learn more

"With the education system failing so many brilliant children it's great to be able to have resources like your website for inspiration, ideas and just a sense of belonging. What you are doing for your children is priceless." ~ Natalija

"I really appreciate your time and effort that goes into your posts... It's nice to see that you are a 2nd generation homeschooler." ~ Teresa

"Your newsletters & book have helped us through our journey.  For that I can only thank you.
Please, please, please keep it up, people like you make our home school life so much easier." ~ Kelly

"I have joined paid sites that were not even one percent as great as this site. Really amazing what you are doing and so so helpful thanks so much!" ~ Eli