Science Savvy Activities To Do With Children

By Lucy Boulton

If boredom keeps persisting in your house, you’re not alone. Children are constantly learning, exploring and finding curious ways to grow and learn and whilst this is of course a positive, it can be a struggle to keep it real and exciting. Through my own nanny experience, the best ideas that were always a hit, were the ones where they could get stuck in, get messy and see real results from their work.

Stepping it up a level, I discovered the cool and fascinating experiments created by a Nanotechnologist and Engineer, who are on a mission to help children worldwide discover more about science through amazing at-home experiments.

Please note: Adult supervision required for younger children

Erupting Volcano

Scientific Principle: Chemical Reaction    Time required: 2 hours, plus 1 day drying time.

In this experiment you can build your own volcano and watch it erupt again and again.


- Hairdryer (optional)

- Poster paint and paintbrush (optional)

- Newspaper

- 100g (1 cup) flour

- 200ml (1 cup) cold water

- Small plastic bottle

- Masking tape

- Large tray

- Scissors

- Mixing bowl

- Spoon

- 200ml (1 cup) vinegar

- 15g (3 tsp) baking soda

- Red food colouring

- 30ml (2 Tbsp) warm water

- Dishwashing liquid


- Place the empty plastic bottle in the centre of the tray and run masking tape from the top of the bottle down to the bottom of the tray to make a volcano-shaped frame.

- Add the flour to the cold water in a bowl and stir well to make a glue.

- Tear the newspaper into long thin strips. Soak the strips for a few minutes in the flour-glue mixture.

- Remove the strips from the glue, one at a time, squeezing off any excess liquid. Lay each strip across the tape frame to build up a volcano layer.

- Continue to add layers until you have built up a volcano shape. Let each paper layer dry before applying the next one. If you wish, you can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process between layers. Allow to dry overnight.

- Paint and decorate your volcano to make it look more realistic.

- Carefully pour the baking soda into the plastic bottle inside the volcano.

- Mix 200ml (1 cup) of vinegar with 30ml (2 Tbsp) warm water, 6 drops of dishwashing liquid and two drops of red food colouring.

- Pour the liquid mixture into the bottle, stand back - and watch your volcano erupt!

The Science Behind the Erupting Volcano

Glue is an adhesive which sticks substances together. By adding water to flour, the molecules in the flour are hydrated, which makes them sticky. When applied to the paper, they help the layers of paper to stick on top of each other and, once the water evaporates from the flour, give rigidity to the paper making it stronger. When an acid such as vinegar is added to an alkali such as baking soda, they react with each other. In this case, the reaction produces the gas, carbon dioxide. The gas becomes trapped in the dishwashing liquid and produces gas filled bubbles. As more and more gas is produced, the pressure inside the bottle increases as there is not enough room for all the bubbles and gas inside the bottle. The gas and bubbles try to release the pressure by rapidly pouring out of the top of the bottle - resulting in a bubble filled eruption.

Explore Further

What happens if you change the amount of vinegar or baking soda used in the volcano? Does the experiment work with other acids - such as lemon or lime juice - and other alkali materials - such as laundry detergent? Do you get the same type of eruption?

Can you think of ways to modify the top of the volcano that might increase the pressure inside the bottle to make the eruption go higher or last longer?

Created by a nanotechnologist and engineer, Nanogirl™ STEM Adventure subscriptions release a new science experiment every weekday. For every paying subscriber, a subscription is donated to a family who could not otherwise afford to take part. Find out more at

Former Career Nanny and now Childcare and Wellbeing specialist at The Lady, Lucy Boulton has over 12 years experience with children of all ages, is a certified yoga teacher and loves promoting a plant based lifestyle brought about from her nutrition studies in the USA. Lucy is delighted to be offering regular features alongside helping families find the perfect nanny through the services provided by The Lady.

If you or someone you know is searching for an experienced Nanny, contact Lucy today on