Lava Lamp

Ideal for Preschool/Pre-K, School-Age

Two children use their fingers in a color experiment.

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to:

  • Learn and explore the characteristics of density.
  • Learn and explore the characteristics of chemical reactions and polarity.


  • Container e.g., water bottle or 2-liter plastic bottle
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Antacid tablets (adult supervision required with use)


  1. Fill the container most of the way with vegetable oil.
  2. Fill the rest of the container with water.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring; your choice of color.
  4. Break an antacid tablet into a few small pieces, and drop them in the container one at a time.
  5. Watch your lava lamp erupt! As the reaction slows down, add more antacid.

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