How to Make a Homemade Lava Lamp

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Make your own version of these funs lamps to teach kids about science.
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With its hypnotic effect, the lava lamp of the 1960s and early '70s was a staple of home decor. Today, people can recreate this retro home decoration by making a homemade version. Making a lava lamp is also a fun activity for parents and kids to do together. It's an excellent way to teach children about the density and immiscible properties of certain fluids. Using simple household items, you can make a lava lamp in a matter of minutes.


Step 1

Cover your work surface with plastic wrap or paper towels in case there are any spills. Place the empty plastic bottle on this surface.

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Step 2

Put the funnel into the empty bottle and pour oil until the bottle is three-quarters of the way full. The funnel will facilitate the pouring of the liquids.


Step 3

Fill the rest of the bottle with the water, but leave some room at the top. The water should sink to the bottom.

Step 4

Add approximately 8 to 10 drops of the food coloring. The color choice for the food dye should be dark for a good visual effect.

Step 5

Break the effervescent tablet into 8 to 10 pieces. Drop one piece into the bottle. Bubbles should begin to appear and start to rise. When the bubbling action stops, drop in another piece. Continue adding in the pieces of the tablet until there are no more pieces left. Observe the bubbling effect and blobs that form in the lava lamp.


Step 6

Wait until the mixture stops bubbling, place the cap on and close tightly. Shake the bottle sideways a few times to observe the appearance of a wave.

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