Review: Kmart DIY Erupting Volcano Toy
Classic Science Fun for Kids
This volcano toy is a take on a very classic science experiment where you mix baking soda and vinegar. It's a fun experiment for kids where they can watch the chemicals react and it looks like the volcano is erupting.
We bought this volcano from Kmart, and it is branded Anko, which is their own brand. Now it seems it is branded with Kids Science in some stores. The name of the toy is: Volcano Eruption Do-it-Yourself, but used to be called Build Your Own Volcano Eruption. Same toy, same price, same fun science experiment for kids!
How the Kids Science Volcano Toy Works
The toy itself is in the shape of a volcano and is made of plastic. It has a little cup-shaped area at the top where you place in the 2 provided chemicals (Dry form). One is an acid, and the other a base. Then, you add food colouring to the water and squeeze it into the cup at the top where the other two chemicals are.
The water allows the acid and base to mix together and create the reaction. It bubbles away, and due to the expanding gases, the mixture overflows down the side of the plastic volcano. Kids love it! If you want to dive deeper into the science behind it, you can read why baking soda and vinegar reach with each other. Even though this experiment didn't use vinegar, it is an acid, and works exactly the same as the citric acid provided (You just don't need to add water).
Toy Volcano Acid Base Reaction Video
Here is a video we took of the reaction taking place, so you know what to expect. In this video, we added additional water a couple of times, and the reaction kept going.
Whats in the Box
Almost everything you need is in the box. With the exception of water and food colouring. But every good home STEM lab should have those laying around. Here is what you get in the Volcano Eruption Do-it-Yourself Kit:
Volcano Mountain: This is the miniature volcano, made from plastic with a small cup area at the top, and a catchment area at the bottom.
Citric Acid: This is the acid chemical used in the reaction.
Bicarbonate Soda: The Base used in the reaction.
Mixing Cup: For you to mix your water and food colouring.
Kids Safety Goggles: Not the most comfortable, but certainly necessary. Especially for getting kids into the habit of safety. My son associates science with safety glasses.
Stirring Rod: Use it for mixing your 2 solid chemicals, and for your water and food colouring.
Measuring Spoon: Helps you add equal qty of each of the chemicals.
Pipette/Eye Dropper: For adding the liquid into the volcano to set off the reaction.
What We Like About This Version
Erupting volcano toys are available in almost every store you can think of. They vary in size, colour and brand, but fundamentally they are all very similar.
We like the Kmart Kids Science Volcano primarily because of it's value. At just $5, including safety goggles and chemicals, that it really amazing.
We also like that it is reusable. Made from hard plastic, you can use the volcano over and over. Just wash it up after use.
Our Tips for This DIY Volcano
We don't normally have a 'Tips' section in our reviews, but there is a couple of things you should know about this toy.
Firstly, they do not mention water in the instructions. They just say add food colouring. However, there is a picture of the mixing cup with a light red liquid in it. Well, we all know food colouring is not light in colour so they clearly have added water. Please mix the food colouring with water, and make it a bit darker than the picture.
Secondly, when you run out of the dry citric acid, just switch it to vinegar. Just put a scoop of Baking Soda in the volcano, and in the mixing cup mix a little food colouring with vinegar. Then add it like you did the water. Same reaction will occur.
STEM Education and Learning
The erupting volcano is an awesome kids introduction to science. For the younger kids, they get to see a chemical reaction which is really exciting and makes the very curious. For the older kids, they can really dive deep into the science behind it and find out exactly what all of the molecules are doing.
The toy volcano is certainly aimed at the science field of STEM, but it does touch on mathematics.
Here is a photo of my son watching my wife add the liquid to the DIY volcano from Kmart which created the reaction. He could not look away. I really love this photo, you can almost see his mind thinking.
Overall Opinion & Review
This toy is a must have to get kids interested in science. At $5, you really can't go wrong with the Kmart Toy Volcano. The reaction was not over the top, but that's probably a good thing. It works just as expected. We gave this toy a 4.5 out of 5. Kmart and their STEM toys does it again!
Documents & Downloads
We test out and review the popular Kmart kids microscope by Anko. A great value microscope to start kids on their scientific journey.