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 which you can print out
ten science experiments that won't let you down e-book

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

lava lamp

You can see how it works here:

science experiments for kids

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. 

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 Sheet

how to make a lava lamp pdf

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

Go to the link to Kids Experiments at the bottom of this page.

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Homeschool Kids Experiments › Lava Lamp

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