Creating a homemade volcano is a simple yet rewarding science project and a great way to demonstrate the structure and function of volcanoes to kids. All you need is an empty plastic bottle, newspaper, a small funnel, white craft glue, baking soda, orange or red food coloring, black or brown paint, and white vinegar.
Cut the newspaper into strips. The amount you need depends on the size of the volcano.
In a bowl or plastic container, mix the glue and water at a one-to-one ratio. It should form a slightly watery mixture.
Stand the empty water bottle up on a flat and washable surface such as a baking sheet. Dip strips of newspaper in the glue mixture and wrap them around the water bottle. You want to completely cover the water bottle and allow the bottom to be wider than the top. This process can be sped up by adding thick layers of painter's or duct tape around the bottom of the bottle.
After the paper mache has dried, paint it so it resembles a volcano. All shades of brown, grey and black work well.
Once the paint is dry, you can finally make the volcano erupt. Place the small funnel into the opening at the top of the volcano. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of baking soda into the bottle. Next, mix red or orange food coloring into 1 cup of vinegar to create the color of the lava. Pour the vinegar into the volcano and watch it explode! The volcano erupts very quickly, so as you pour the vinegar you must quickly pull the funnel away.