Homemade Lava Lamp with Alka Seltzer

Homemade Lava Lamp with Alka Seltzer

Short description
Full description
Short description

Homemade Lava Lamp with Alka Seltzer

Type of resource:  Website

Web address https://www.kenan-asia.org/one-awesome-science-experiment-you-can-do-at-home/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI34iV0uOe5wIVBLTtCh1mUAZAEAAYAyAAEgK9kvD_BwE

Language: English 


Experiment investigating mixing in liquids.

Scientific concept introduced

Chemical reactions: liquids do and don't mix; dissolving.

Creative and critical thinking

Critical Thinking


Inductive reasoning

Creative Thinking


Mathematical reasoning



Scientific thinking






Learning how to learn

Being organised

Turn taking in groups

Fun in learning


Oral language - listening and following instructions

Hand-eye coordination

Fine motor skills

Pre-reading skills eg sequencing

Collaborative skills through group Work

Full description

Homemade Lava Lamp with Alka Seltzer

Overall aims

To enable pupils to explore how liquids that do and don’t mix

To enable pupils to explore the concept of dissolving

To develop pupils’ skills in listening and following instructions

To develop pupils’ organisation skills

To develop pupils’ communication skills

To develop pupils’ skills in observing and predicting

To develop pupils’ skills in counting

To develop pupils’ skills in recording

Vocabulary - keywords should be understood

Food colouring, vegetable oil, water, tablet, bubbles, lighted, heavier, dissolves, mix

Expected learning outcomes (operational aims)

The child will be enabled to:

- follow instructions of an experiment

- investigate how water and oil react

- observe and discuss how some liquids mix and some don’t mix

STEM skills - to which the learning unit is related to


Asking questions


Observing and making predictions

Analyzing the results of an experiment




Hand-eye coordination

Fine-motor skills



Oral Language

Following rules of safety

Group work

Teaching methodologies/activity outline


Show a bottle of food colouring as ask pupils if they know what it is used for. Elicit that it is a liquid which is used to colour food and it does so by mixing with other materials.
Inform pupils that they are going to investigate how other liquids mix.


Ask pupils to work in groups, each group using a different spice to make their own dough ball.


- Drinking glass or clear bottle

- Water

- Food coloring

- Vegetable oil

- Alka Seltzer tablet


Put one drop of a food coloring into a glass.

Fill ¼ of the glass with water.

Sample question: What happened? Both liquids mixed.

Add about twice as much vegetable oil as water to the glass.

Sample Questions: What happened when you poured the oil into the water? Did the liquids mix? Did you notice that the two liquids did not mix?

Teacher Note: They separated because the density of water is greater than that of vegetable oil, and so the water sits at the bottom.

Drop one Alka Seltzer tablet into the bottle and look on as colorful bubbles ooze up and down through the oil.

Sample Question: What do you think will happen when you drop in the tablet?

Teacher Note: The tablet dives to the bottom and dissolves. This process creates carbon dioxide, which (like the oil) is lighter than water, causing it to form bubbles, with some of the colored water mixed in, that rise to the top and burst on the surface. After the mini explosion, the colored water sinks back down to the bottom, resulting in that oozing, lava-like effect in the bottle. Discuss the tone of colours to be seen in the glass.

Tip: For added effect, turn off the lights in the room and place the bottle on top of your mobile phone with the flashlight turned on. This makes the coloring really pop!


Ask pupils in small groups to recall the various steps in the experiment.

Ask each group to record what happened on poster paper, drawing each step on.

Ask pupils to use fabric and various materials for their poster to show the appearance of the mixture at the various stages.

Assessment of learning

Pupil observation sheet.

Equipment and materials to be used in learning unit (tools, ingredients etc)

- Drinking glass or clear bottle per group

- Poster paper

- Fabric, fibre and various art materials

Kind of setting

Kitchen or classroom with cooking facilities (ie hot stove)

References - source

Website: https://www.kenan-asia.org/one-awesome-science-experiment-you-can-do-at-home/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI34iV0uOe5wIVBLTtCh1mUAZAEAAYAyAAEgK9kvD_BwE


Homemade Lava Lamp with Alka Seltzer

1. Usefulness for STEM education - integrating content of different disciplines

Cross-curricular character of the resource 


The range of S-T-E-M subjects included 


The presentation of possibilities of including artistic activities (STEAM approach)


2. Expected learning outcomes

Consistency (links) with preschool core curriculum


Communicativeness of description


3. Methodology of teaching

Clarity, communicativeness of instructions for teachers


Meaningful learning - using practical life problems


Original idea 


The level of ease in implementing the methodology to preschool age children


The level of ease in preparing necessary ingredients, materials and equipment needed


4. Sustainability

Ecological characteristics of materials/ results


Supporting healthy eating habits 




Low ecological footprint


Possibilities of inclusion (respecting cultural diversity and food intolerances)


5. Class management

Using differentiated forms of work - individual, team work etc.


Individual work





Team work





Whole group




6. Time management


Short activity (10-15 minutes)




Medium activity (20-30 minutes)




Long activity (1 hour or more)




Very long activity (1 day or more)


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