Make an erupting volcano in 10 minutes for your next  ESL class!

make a real erupting volcano in 10 minutes

Make an erupting craft volcano to study English!

Are you an ESL teacher looking for an interesting science experiment to do in your next ESL lesson?  At Step by Step Eikaiwa in Japan, we’re always looking for fun and interactive ways to teach English in our ESL classes.  One popular activity that we sometimes do is make baking soda and vinegar volcanoes.  Over the years, we have made many of these in our kids classes, at events, and even in our adult classes. The best part about doing this craft in your ESL class is that it only takes 10 minutes to make, and you can do the eruption right away!

 Useful English to practice while making your 10-minute craft volcanoes

Of course, this is more than just a fun craft and science experiment.  It’s an English lesson as well.  We recommend that you take some time before building your volcanoes to teach your kids some English words about volcanoes (volcano, lava, eruption, etc.), some words about the ingredients and materials (baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, clay, etc.), and some verbs that you’ll use (Can I have a ____?, Put the ____ on the ____, Pour the ___ in the volcano, etc.).

We usually have a slide show with vocabulary and pictures of real volcanoes.  We also have a video showing how to make a science experiment volcano in less than 10 minutes on our YouTube channel.

Supplies and Ingredients for the ESL Volcano and Experiment

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own ESL craft volcano in less than 10 minutes. We usually get most of our supplies at the 100 yen shop here in Japan, but you can also find supplies at your local supermarket, hardware store, dollar store, online, or maybe even lying around your house.

  • a plastic tray or planter pot bottom (the base to hold your volcano and catch the lava)

  • artificial grass (to line the bottom of your base)

  • a small plastic bottle (around 200ml or so is a good size, but you can go bigger)

  • plastic plants, plastic dinosaurs, or other decorations

  • hot glue gun

  • baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, red food coloring (powder is best)


How to make a craft science volcano for your next 10-minute ESL craft!

Step 1

Shape the clay into mountains around the bottles attached to the plastic tray.

shape the clay volcano

Step 2

Add plastic plants. Cut them to size however you like. It’s easy to stick them into the soft clay before it dries. Next, add dinosaurs on and around your volcano. (It’s good if you can let the clay dry overnight, but if you don’t have time, you can just be careful when you rinse out the lava later.)

add trees and dinosaurs

Step 3

Pour baking soda mixture into the volcano (about 2 tablespoons)

baking soda and vinegar volcanoes

Step 4

Pour vinegar mixture into the volcano (about 1/4 cup) and enjoy the erupting volcano.

erupting volcanoes

Step 5

Carefully pour the baking soda and vinegar mixture out and rinse the volcano. Let it dry overnight and repeat the experiment any time you want!

Now it’s your turn to make erupting volcanoes in your ESL class!

10-minutes volcano crafts

Have a Blast!

Depending on how many kids you have and how old they are, you might have to help them add the baking soda into the volcano. Of course, if possible it’s fun for the kids to add the baking soda and vinegar themselves.

This experiment can be done over and over, countless times once the clay has dried. Kids really love to try out different ratios of baking soda and vinegar to see the different results. The great thing is, all you have to do is rinse out your volcano with water and repeat again and again. We hope you have as much fun as we do using this fun and engaging ESL science experiment in your next English classes.