Why is my volcano not working?

We built a mud volcano after playing dinosaurs got out of hand. A slight fault in our chemical formula led to some interesting experiments and funday in lockdown.

Try, try and try again.

Daddy and Charlie spent the morning making dinosaurs. I sat with my feet up, doing nothing (that would’ve been a good idea).

When the dinosaurs were ready the next thing on our 3-year-olds mind was, where is the volcano?

The boys went outside to build a mud volcano. They decorated it with Dinosaurs and other things they found in the garden.

I love watching them work together. They both encourage each others ingenuity.

Finally, they were ready to show off their efforts. I was impressed. What do you think?

After the preparation was complete. It was time to begin the experiment.

It started well.

The ingredients were organised on the kitchen side. Then things started getting chucked in the volcano crater (bowl).

It soon became apparent that the planning had stopped at getting the ingredients out of the cupboard.

The first 3 attempts failed, but we had some serious fun.  Plus attempt 4 actually worked. 

Attempt 6 was my favourite (the grand finale).

Watch our failures and successes here:

What you need to make it work

  • Bicarbonate of soda (NOT baking powder)
  • 300 ml Malt vinegar (NOT Cider Vinegar)
  • 100ml water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Food colour (we’d run out by this point)


  1. 100ml of water
  2. Choose if you add 300ml vinegar to the water or bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Add a squidge of washing up liquid 
  4. Add food colour
  5. For the eruption add the vinegar or bicarbonate of soda to your mixture. The ingredient you didn’t add at stage 2.
  6. For fun try it both ways, we did (attempt 5).

After our failures, we were pleased with our accomplishment. Great life lesson for the little ones too.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again

Thomas H. Palmer

Let’s explore this further

I was now fully swept up in the excitement of it all. I had imagined a dramatic volcanic eruption. This image led to attempt 6.

Mentos vs Diet Coke (Other fizzy drinks would work)

I definitely recommend you do this outside. It’s pretty sticky.


  1. One full bottle of diet fizzy drink (don’t drink some first like my family).
  2. Add 13 mentos to a tube. I used a rolled-up toilet roll.
  3. Place a piece of card on the bottom of the tube to stop mentos falling out. 
  4. Hold tube over the top of the diet drink.
  5. Quickly drop the mentos in the bottle.

Finally, the children decided they’d add all of the leftover ingredients to a bowl. 

It’s fair to say we all learnt a lot, had a lot of fun and created some amazing memories. 

Not to mention the £12 it cost us in failed attempts!

Don’t be like us and waste money or do and have a lot of fun. 

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