Make Your Own Lava Lamp!

Are you looking for a fun science project to do while at home? Look no further. These DIY lava lamps are the perfect science and math projects to do while at home during the “safer at home” orders. The idea is to create a fun activity and experiment that we can all love and appreciate and bring a sense of peace and calmness during these times. Watch the video of the experiment being done on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle or jar
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Alka-Seltzer tabs
  • Measuring cups
  • Optional: funnel & flashlight


  1. Fill an empty plastic bottle or jar with ⅕ of water (math skills!)
  2. Next, fill the rest of the bottle or jar with cooking oil. Use a funnel if you have one and pour oil into the bottle at an angle so it stays above the water that is already in the container.
  3. Then, drop in 3-8 drops of food coloring (pick your favorite color). It will settle below the oil.
  4. Finally, drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Wait and watch it bubble like a lava lamp. Shine a flashlight underneath the bottle to create a glowing effect for fun!

Did you know?

Alka-Seltzer tablets fizz like crazy when dropped into water. The moment the tablet hits the water, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide gas which produces the bubbles or fizz that we hear and see. These are the same bubbles we hear and see when we drink soda pop.

Intermolecular polarity water and oil don’t mix. The food coloring is mostly water so it doesn’t mix with the oil. It will drop down to the water layer. Then when the Alka-Seltzer tablets are added it will raise up into the oil with the bubbles.

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