Homemade Lava Lamp Craft
Engage your little hippie in this groovy craft project.
- Flower child:Your kid.
- Vegetable oil
- Sixties music:Some Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead or Creedence Clearwater Revival to set the mood.
- Some glitter and sequins
- Hot-glue gun:Kids and hot glue don't mix, so make sure you do all the gluing.
- Embellishments:More glitter and sequins, rhinestones, ribbon and anything else your kid wants to use to decorate her jar.
- A jar with a lid
- Set the mood by putting on some groovy sixties tunes.
- Then have your kid fill a jar 1/3 full with vegetable oil while you air guitar to Jerry Garcia.
- Have her add some glitter and sequins for a little psychedelic sparkle.
- Next, have her fill the rest of the jar with water.
- Get her to add about 10 drops of food coloring in the color (or colors) of her choice. She'll notice that the food coloring only tints the water, not the oil. That's because the food coloring can only mix with the water.
- Help her screw the cap onto the jar—tightly.
- Next help her decorate her jar by hot-gluing on her desired accoutrement. She can run a strip of ribbon along the cap or do a few fancy lines of rhinestones down the side. Just make sure she doesn't get too carried away, or she won't be able to see the fascinating lava lamp show going on inside.
- Finally, invite her to flip the jar upside down, over and over again, and watch the colors of the lava lamp flow.
- Add an Alka-Seltzer tablet or a few tablespoons of baking soda to get the lava lamp to really sizzle.
- Why does it work? Because oil and water don't mix. The water molecules stick together so well, like an impenetrable high school clique, that they leave the oil molecules, i.e., the class nerds, totally out of the loop. The oil floats on top of the water because it's less dense than water. (And the "nerd" marries a supermodel and becomes CEO of a multibillion-dollar company because he actually studied while in school, instead of hanging out at the mall for four years.)
- To find local science museums in your 'hood, check out ParentsConnect Local.