Today’s activity is a great smelling and pretty way to mix up the traditional way of making your standard volcano, let me introduce the Lemon-Cano!
Ingredients & Steps
- Start by cutting the ends off the lemons so they will stand up.
- Then cut the lemons in half.
- Mush up the inside of the lemon with your craft stick, keeping the juice inside the lemon.
- Add a few drops of food coloring, a bit of dish soap, a sprinkle of baking soda and the fun can begin! For extra fun add some glitter!
- Have the kids start stabbing the lemon with the craft stick and the lemon juice will mix with the baking soda creating the volcano effect.
Lemon-Cano Science & Further Learning
Make sure to keep the science easy to understand for younger kids. Ask them open ended questions about what they think will happen. Try using various citrus fruits. We also watched several volcano YouTube videos to start the ball rolling and get their imaginations jump started. Full disclosure, this eruption is much less dramatic than its baking soda and vinegar cousin.
Lemon juice contains citric acid which when mixed with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) reacts to form carbon dioxide and sodium citrate, which causes the liquid to fizz and bubble. Citric acid is a common food additive used in soft drinks as a preservative and flavoring.
How is our lemon volcano erupting? The chemical reaction of course. The critic acid from the lemon juice is reacting to the base of the baking soda creating a gas called carbon dioxide. Bubbling, fizzing carbon dioxide which creates a rainbow of colors. This fizz also helps the dish soap create a more exaggerated eruption.
This experiment produces a very slow eruption of color. If you would like things to move a bit faster or to be more dramatic, you can pour a little extra lemon juice on top of the lemon as well. To keep the foam going, add a little more baking soda.
Did you try this experiment? Comment below and let me know if your kids loved it!