Noah Versus the Volcano

My nephew has been staying with us over his Christmas break from school so this evening we decided to build and erupt a volcano that I bought for him several Christmases ago. I think he was afraid of it for the first few years he owned it, like he thought it was going to explode or something. So the last time I visited him and noticed it, unused, on a shelf in his bedroom, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.

The poor guy woke up with a fever this morning and spent the day in bed, but I realized he was feeling much better this evening when he asked me to have a Nerf gun battle. I told him he’d better try to take it easy, so we settled for the much tamer option of constructing the volcano.

Now, I don’t know if I just built it up in my mind too much, but the whole experience was a little anti-climactic. Noah wanted nothing to do with putting his hands into the wet plaster, so I got to spread it over the plastic base that was provided in the box. It started to dry really fast, so my efforts look rather elementary. Oh well, it’s all in the name of science, right?

So, once we applied the plaster, we had to let it dry. Then it was time to erupt the volcano. According to the directions, I mixed a little dish detergent with the vinegar and let Noah squeeze it through the tube where it would meet up with the baking soda that I had placed in the cone of the volcano. A smelly, white (I didn’t have any food coloring darnit!), foamy mess ensued. As you can see, Noah was very turned off by the smell of the vinegar. He seemed very unimpressed by the whole thing and as I am typing this, he is telling me I should rename this post Carrie Versus the Volcano, since I did most of the work. Ha!

I definitely think this experience would have been better suited for him about 2-3 years ago. He would have been much more fascinated. I also know that I will never spend money on a volcano like this again. I made one a few years back with my preschool class. We used a soda bottle and paper mache and had a great time creating it and then erupting it. If you ever have even the slightest inclination to do this activity, definitely make your own. It’s more work, but it’s worth it.

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