Sunday, May 5, 2013

Volcano World

Today we erupted volcanoes before lunch. We used Play-Doh as the surface of the world and used a large, round plastic tray that would catch any lava that might try to escape. Bean chose the colours of Play-Doh to use. I told her we needed a blue for water and a dark green for the forest, but the rest she chose and pointed where she wanted them to go.


 The beach

 Forest. We used shells to add texture to the Play-Doh.

The yellow is a dry/desert area and the red is the volcano region. 

We made three volcanoes in different colours to see how different it would look with the red lava flowing down them.

And a few added toys: a dormant volcano, trees and four dinosaurs who wanted to watch the volcanoes erupt too.

Add in the baking soda.

And have the white vinegar ready (we used red food colouring to make it "lava" red).

And then pour!

This was so exciting for Munchkin and Bean! Bean really enjoyed helping me press and mold the volcano world. Munchkin did most of the texture work, pressing the shells into the Play-Doh and using his fingers and knuckles to make the Play-Doh bumpy and holey. I helped make the bases of the volcanoes and then they made the holes. I added the baking soda and poured the vinegar. 

Bean was the first to touch the "lava". She giggled and loved feeling the bubbles touch her hands. Munchkin walked the dinosaurs through the lava and was amazed that they left footprints that quickly filled up with lava. After that they both made many dinosaur tracks! The dinosaurs also enjoyed drinking from the volcanoes :)
The textured Play-Doh did not direct the flow of the lava in any particular way, but it was interesting to see how it filled in those regions. The bumpy yellow area filled up first and left many lava puddles. The green forest area was largely untouched. The blue ocean area was where most of lava went after erupting. 

Just a note, the Play-Doh we used was brand new and we did not wait for it to dry before testing out our volcano world. In our last volcano experiment we used painted clay and allowed it to dry and it worked wonderfully. This volcano world ended up very wet and mushy after several eruptions, but that was fine with us because they enjoyed mashing the Play-Doh together and remaking the volcanoes. 

This took about twenty minutes to build and provided an hour of fun play. Afterwards we ate lunch and watched the second part of an episode of Dinosaur Train (episode 24: Erma Eoraptor/Under The Volcano). My kids don't watch TV often, it's mainly background sound when I'm cleaning and cooking. But today I got Bean's attention so she could watch the volcano erupt. 

The words we learned today: volcano, erupt/eruption, dormant, lava. 

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