Oh My! An Erupting Pumpkin!

There is a lot for kids and parents to like about this mini volcano project. Kiddos will love the “eruption” and colorful mess that they can actually help create. Parents will love that making a pumpkin volcano is educational, frugal, quick, and not too messy.

Pumpkin Volcano Science

Need a chemistry refresher course yourself? No worries! The chemical reaction is triggered by mixing the baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid) together. This combination produces carbon dioxide (a colorless, odorless gas) which expands, causing the “eruption”. Absolutely, your little ones are going to ask!

Want to learn more about the science behind this fall volcano activities for preschoolers and kids? Read Questions From Kids: Why Does Baking Soda React With Vinegar?

Pumpkin Volcano Materials

  • Dish Soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Food coloring (orange, purple, green)
  • Mini pumpkins
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • One of the following: large plastic lid or container OR a pile of newspaper

1. Cut the top off the pumpkin.

2. Scoop out most of the insides (this doesn’t need to be perfect).

3. At this point, you have a choice: You can take the pumpkin volcanoes outside and set them on a lid or in a container to contain the mess OR you can cover your “explosion area” in newspaper to absorb the overflow.

4. Add a couple tablespoons of baking soda to each pumpkin volcano.

5. Now add a couple squirts of dish soap to each pumpkin volcano.

6. Add one squirt of each color of food coloring to each pumpkin volcano.

7. Start pouring vinegar into each pumpkin; you’ll likely need about 1/3 cup for each.

Now stand back and watch the eruptions flow!

And, just so you know, you can rinse out the pumpkins and repeat the process over and over. It’s a guarantee that the kids will want to do this again and again!