What you are about to read is part science activity, part art project. It's also a great deal of fun for all ages.
- Vegetable Oil
- Food Coloring
- Alka-Seltzer Tablets
- A Bottle
Once you have gathered all your supplies, it's a good idea to protect your work surface. We used an old picnic tablecloth.
- Pour vegetable oil into a bottle until it is about 2/3 full.
- Then add some water to nearly fill the bottle.
- Add a few drops of food coloring. We used blue.
- Break an Alka-Seltzer tablet into small pieces.
- Drop a piece of tablet into the bottle.
- Watch what happens.
The food coloring will mix with the water but will not mix with the oil. This alone is enough to create the effect of a lava lamp (when the bottle is manually shaken). However, the real magic begins once the Alka-Seltzer tablets are added.
Alka-Seltzer tablets contain citric acid and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). When you drop the tablet pieces into the oil and water mixture, the citric acid and baking soda react, creating a "fizz". This fizz forces the colorful water bubbles to move around the oil mixture - thus creating a "lava lamp" effect.
Don't have Alka-Seltzer tablets? You can use baking soda and vinegar instead!
Try it yourself and let us know how it turns out.
Until next time. Keep creating!
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