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  • Writer's pictureMade by Julia G.

DIY Lava Lamp

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

This activity is loaded with fun and exciting science reactions fit for every age. Watching the oil and water react with each other and the food colour and Alka Seltzer tablets react with the oil and water is very exciting. This activity is great for younger children to begin learning about science and using their pincer grasp to break the tablets. The pincer grasp is the position of the index finger and thumb to hold an object. For older children learning how to measure and pour the oil into the bottle.


  • Alka Seltzer tablet

  • Oil

  • empty bottle

  • water

  • food colouring

  • Towel/garbage bag

  • funnel (optional)

Things to prepare prior to activity:

  • Make sure you use a bottle that you will not need later.

  • Garbage bag on the area that you will be creating your Lava lamp, or an area that you can clean up after.

Activity Steps:

Before you begin the activity lay a towel or a garbage bag down on your workspace

First empty the bottle and clean it out to make sure there is nothing left behind.

Then, fill the bottle halfway with vegetable oil (or any oil). To help with the pouring of the oil you can use a funnel to pour the oil into the bottle/ask for help/or use a cup with a spout to pour it into the bottle.

After, fill the rest of the bottle with water leave an inch on the top.

Watch Closely: Now, watch and see what happens when you put the water in the bottle.

What happens to the oil? What happens to the water?

Then, put about 5 drops of any colour of food colouring into the bottle.

Watch Closely: Watch what happens when you put the food colour in. Does the water change colour?

Does the Oil?

Then, break the Alka Seltzer Tablet into pieces using your pincer grasp.

After you have broken the tablet put the pieces into the bottle one at a time.

Watch Closely: After you put the first piece into the lava lamp what happens?

Lastly, watch the lava lamp!

If you want to make the lava lamp work again just turn it upside down and watch the magic happen.

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