Land of Lava
The earth is alive and constantly changing right before our eyes! And volcanoes can be a fascinating reminder of it. There are more than 1,500 active volcanoes scattered across the world, and even more underwater. But no matter how terrifying they can be, much of the reason humans have survived for so long on this planet is because of volcanic eruptions from millions of years ago. So get ready to have a “lava” fun as we explore the explosive nature of volcanoes.
what you’ll need
A cardboard box
An empty water bottle
- Old newspaper
- Masking tape
- Paper mache (can be made with flour and water)
- Red/brown/yellow paint
- Baking soda
- Red food coloring
Ask About Today
How would we know if a volcano is about to erupt?
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What Makes a Volcano Erupt?
You’ve probably shaken up a bottle of soda before and opened it only to see it erupt just about everywhere! That’s because the gas bubbles inside caused a build-up in pressure, and when you twisted off the cap, that pressure had a way to release. Well, a volcano erupts for the same basic reason, but what causes the “shake-up” is much more complex. This video will explain the different types of volcanoes and what causes them to explode.
Enter the Land of Lava
The Volcano Next Door
One of the world’s greatest and most active volcanoes on Earth is in America, right underneath Yellowstone National Park. And according to scientists, it’s a ticking time bomb! Watch this video to explore how it formed and what it tells us about the past and how our planet was made.
You know by now that volcanoes can form underwater, but seeing one in person is incredibly rare. Watch and learn how these “submarine” volcanoes underwater help shape the world above water.
Living with a Volcano
So far, we’ve explored the science of volcanoes and even what they look like up close, but have you ever wondered what life must be like for the millions of people around the globe who live walking distance to them? Watch this short film about the unique relationship that Indonesians have with Mount Agung.
Build a Volcano!
Now’s your turn to make your very own volcano! Using today’s visuals, get as creative (but safely) as you like to bring this eruptive force to life in your very own home. You'll need some basic materials including a cardboard box, an empty water bottle, and newspaper for paper mache. Follow along with the video to learn how, or use these written directions.
Be kind: Make your volcano somewhere that's easy to clean up, and clean up when you're done!
The Floor is Lava!
One the most fun games to play with your family is “The Floor is Lava”! Decide who the lava monster will be, and when they yell “The Floor is Lava”, everyone has 3 seconds to get off of the ground/floor (the lava) and on to somewhere safe. Watch this family as they play!
Floor Lava Legend
If it’s just you playing and you’re ready for the advanced level, check out Thomas Anderson’s agility as he avoids the lava and makes it all the way outside without touching the floor!
Be safe! Ask an adult's permission before trying this on your own.