how to make a fast and easy tape volcano

Make a fast and easy tape volcano in 10 minutes for a super fun and exciting science experiment.

At Step by Step Eikaiwa, our English school in Japan, we love mixing fun crafts and activities into our English lessons. There are just a few requirements we have when deciding which crafts to do: they must be fun for all ages, cheap and easy to prepare, and most importantly, able to be completed by the end of the 45 or 50-minute lesson. You might have seen our previous erupting volcano science experiment in our Fast and Easy 10-minute ESL crafts blog, but today’s version is even better because it’s a fast and easy tape volcano!

We got the idea to use tape instead of clay or other materials from this cool blog about making an easy-tape volcano over at Inspirational Laboratories. It’s super cool, but needed something a little smaller, cleaner, faster, and easier. That’s why we decided to use colored duct tape. Plus, we decided to put the volcano in a tray to catch the overflowing “magma.”

tape volcanoes in ESL lessons

kids love learning English and science

What You’ll Need To Make a Fast and Easy Tape Volcano

  • A medium tray (roughly 18cm in diameter

  • A small tray (roughly 12cm in diameter)

  • (optional) A sheet of green felt, roughly 20cm2

  • Scissors

  • Two small plastic cups

  • Colored duct tape

  • (optional) Oil-based permanent markers

  • Fake plants

  • Small toy dinosaurs

  • Double-sided tape

  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • Dish soap

  • Red food coloring

  • Towels for cleaning up

How to make the tape volcano

Once you’ve prepared the materials, kids can easily create their own custom erupting volcanoes using any color that they like! The best part is that they can use them again and again!

Step 1

Each student asks for their supplies. If necessary, pre-teach them the phrases they need to know such as “Can I have the [color] tape, please?”

step 1 gather materials

Step 2 (optional)

Make an outline of the bottom of the medium tray on the felt and cut out the circle as the “grass.” (You can omit this step to save time and make clean-up a little easier.)

cut the grass felt for your tape volcano

Step 3 (optional)

Apply the double-sided tape on the felt and stick it to the medium tray. The roller-style double sided tape doesn’t dispense on the plastic tray easily, so apply tape directly to the felt.

attach felt to tray with tape

Step 4

Now it’s time to make the shape of the volcano! Place a plastic cup on the small tray. Apply long strips of tape in a plus shape going from the lip of the cup to the base as pictured.

use duct tape to make a fast and easy tape volcano

fast and easy in a variety of colors

add more tape to fill the gaps

there will be a plastic cup for the eruption

completed tape volcano

Step 5

Use smaller pieces of tape to fill in any gaps left over on the volcano

attach to bottom tray

Step 6 (optional)

Add details to the volcano using your oil-based permanent markers. Now would be a great time to write initials underneath! (You can omit this step for large classes to save time.)

attaching with tape is fast and easy

Step 7

Now it’s time to get even more creative! Using small strips of tape, attach the fake plants around the volcano any way you want!

add plants and trees with tape

decorate the volcano with dinosaurs

Step 8

And of course, complete the theme with a few little dinosaurs!

add 30 grams baking soda

How to make your tape volcano erupt

Step 1

Measure out 30g of baking soda and put it inside your volcano. Break up any clumps to make the reaction more explosive. If you want, you can add a little liquid red food dye to the vinegar and mix it up to give the “magma” a more realistic color.

add 30 ml of vinegar with some food coloring and dish soap

Step 2

Now measure out 30ml of vinegar. Add about 3g of dish soap to make the eventual foam extra thick and frothy!

dish soap makes the magma foamy

Step 3

Now, quickly pour the liquid into the volcano – the reaction should take place instantly! Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the expressions on the children’s faces.

kids get excited watching their tape volcanoes erupt

The Tape Volcano Science Experiment is Fun and Educational

fast and easy volcanoes are fun and easy for big or small classes

This tape volcano science experiment has been a huge hit, and kids enjoy not only making their own custom volcanoes, but using English in the classroom as they learn about various things. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is a growing movement within both EFL and education in general, where language teaching is integrated with the teaching of other subjects to teach a language as a means of communication. This experiment is a great way to teach kids about both chemistry and earth sciences, use creative skills, and practice English in a new context!

Let us know how your experiments go! Use the social links below and feel free to share your results with us.

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