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Make a Groovy Lava Lamp

Using stuff you probably have lying around the kitchen, you and your family can make your very own lava lamp and learn a bit of science while doing it!

Lava Lamp food coloring
Lava Lamp food effect

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The secret behind the lamp’s “lava” is science. Oil is lighter, or less dense, than water, so it rises to the surface. Salt is heavier, or more dense, than water, and sinks to the bottom. When you add the salt, blobs of oil attach to the grains and sink. Then the salt dissolves, and the oil returns to the top. The result? A liquid show for the eyes.

 

 

YOU WILL NEED

  • Clear jar with lid
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Flashlight
Lava Lamp Supplies

STEP ONE

 Fill the jar three-quarters full of water. Add drops of food coloring until you like the color you see. A few drops go a long way! Sprinkle in glitter for extra sparkle.

Lava Lamp food coloring

STEP TWO

Fill the jar almost to the top with the oil and let the mixture separate.

Moment of Aww!

STEP THREE

Pour salt into the jar until you see the cool lava lamp effect. When the bubbles stop, add more salt to see it again.

Lava Lamp food effect

STEP FOUR

 Shine a flashlight behind the jar to watch your lava lamp really glow!

Lava Lamp food effect