Once of the things that I enjoy about teaching preschool/kindergarten is that it is inquiry based. Therefore, if children show an interest in space and astronauts, we create lessons, activities, and centres around this interest. I was pleasantly surprised to find within the first week of school the topic of volcanoes emerged. Since I teach a lot of science, I figured that volcanoes would be easy to tie in to (and a lot of fun). I have several ideas in mind, but I knew that I wanted to create a model of an erupting volcano. I had plaster cloth left over from a craft that I did with my kids at home, so I used it for the volcanoes.
I used a small water bottle. I cut the paper to fit around the bottle and slope down at the sides. Then I covered the paper with small strips of the plaster cloth. I let the plaster harden over night and painted it the next morning.
The volcano is so easy to make that I ended up making a second on, just to have a back up in the classroom. I will be adding vinegar, with red food colouring mixed in, to the water bottle (3/4 full) and then adding baking soda. Young kids love when things ‘explode’ and this is such a great example of a chemical reaction. Kids would have fun making these and they are easy enough to do with little hands. I can’t wait to use them with my students.