Smithsonian Volcano Kit Directions

Model your volcano after an actual volcano.
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Constructing volcanic eruptions is a fascinating way to learn about the earth's natural forces. Most volcanoes erupt with lava, molten rock, ash or other debris. Depending on a volcano's structure, an eruption can be explosive or non-explosive. Creating a volcano can give you insight on how pressure build-up from within a volcano leads to its eventual eruption. Your Smithsonian kit includes a volcano base, which is part of the box. Keep the box to prevent undesirable messes.

    Remove the contents from your package. Turn the volcano-like structure on its side. Attach the tubing to the center hole on the structure, then coil the remainder of the tubing around the rim of the volcano.

    Mix the provided volcano compound. Place the contents into a bowl and add nine ounces of warm tap water. Stir the mixture for up to five minutes.

    Mold the sand substrate onto the volcano structure. Ensure that the entire volcano is covered with the substrate. Form the vent of your volcano by using your fingers to pack down the mixture into the opening of the structure. Let the mixture harden for 20 minutes.

    Paint your volcano. You can use online references to paint your volcano according to your preferences.

    Place newspaper into the box provided with your kit. Put your volcano over the newspaper.

    Avoid using the kit without eye goggles.
    ••• Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Protect your eyes with safety goggles. Using scissors, snip the end of the vinegar bottle provided with your kit.

    Pour three ounces of vinegar into the bottle. Combine three drops of dish soap with the vinegar. Place the cap onto your vinegar bottle.

    Put one tablespoon of baking soda into your volcano's opening. Push the end of your vinegar bottle onto the end of the tubing. Squeeze the bottle to make your volcano erupt.

    Things You'll Need

    • Smithsonian volcano kit
    • Mixing bowl
    • 9 ounces warm water
    • Wooden spoon
    • Paint
    • Paint brushes
    • Newspaper
    • Safety goggles
    • Scissors
    • 3 ounces vinegar
    • Dish soap
    • 1 tbsp baking soda
    • Food coloring


    • It's best to use this volcano outdoors or in your kitchen, where you can easily contain the mess. You can add food coloring to your vinegar to create a colorful lava.


    • This product is not intended for use with children under eight years of age. Supervise your children when using this product.

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