Make a baking soda & vinegar Volcano/Puia

Rūamoko is the atua (god) of earthquakes and underground force, controlling geothermal activities and volcanoes. This fun experiment is a fun way for tamariki to learn more about science concepts, as well as gaining an appreciation for Rūamoko.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar (malt or white will both do the trick)
  • A container to hold everything, or create a “volcano” mound out of sand or dirt.
  • Paper towels or a cloth (just in case)
  • Red food coloring (optional)


  1. Place some of the baking soda into your container or volcano
  2. Add in a few drops of red food coloring (optional)
  3. Slowly pour in some of the vinegar
  4. Watch as the reaction takes place!

What’s learning is happening?

The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. The baking soda and vinegar react to create carbon dioxide (CO2) bubbles. The bubbles rise to the top of the liquid, which results in foam (aka lava!). Children are also developing a perception of themselves as ‘explorers’ – competent, confident learners who ask questions and make discoveries.

“Science and nature play supports learning across all strands of Te Whāriki. In particular, it supports the Exploration strand, where children learn strategies for active exploration, thinking and reasoning. They also develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds” (Ministry of Education)

How can adults support children?

  • Ask open-ended questions eg: What do you think might happen? Why do you think that happened?
  • Support them to touch the foam, smell it & listen to the sound of the fizzing
  • Encourage them to come up with their own explanations, which develops their sense of exploration and curiosity

Have fun learning together!

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