Totally Volcanic

totally volcanicA tug is all it takes to activate this awesome paper lava volcano! Katie had lava on her mind when she designed this project…and we have some pretty spectacular proof of it at the end of the post!

We read Harry and the Hot Lava by Chris Robertson (Xist Publishing, 2014). Something weird is happening in Harry’s house. Hot lava is appearing between the couch, coffee table, bookcase, and bed. Looks like he’s going to have to leap from place to place to escape it. Does mom mind all this jumping around? Not at all. Harry’s Dad has the exact same type of imagination, AND he has a lava-proof raft!

You’ll need:

Trace the volcano cone template onto a piece of brown poster board. Then circle and staple it.

volcano coneDrop a paper cup in the top of the cone, then hot glue the bottom of the CUP to the corrugated base (no need to glue the volcano cone to the base). We added some orange tissue paper lava as well, but this is optional!

cone with lava borderTo make the eruption, cut a 2″ diameter circle out of poster board. Punch a hole in the center of the circle, then thread a 14″ piece of yarn through it. Secure the yarn to the back of the circle with tape.

eruption circle Tape six, 6″ yellow and red paper streamers to the back of the circle. Definitely don’t do more than 6, or the circle won’t slide in and out of the cup as easily. We also added four, 6″ pieces of orange curling ribbon.

volcano eruption ribbonFinally, the smoke! Carefully thread a piece of polyester fill down the yarn, and hot glue it to the top of the circle. The yarn should rise from the center of the polyester fill.

volcano smokeTo operate your volcano, gently push the eruption circle into the cup, leaving the yarn dangling out the side of the volcano cone. Tug the yarn, the circle will rise, and your volcano will erupt!

pull string volcano eruptionKatie was a little concerned about kids going home and jumping on their furniture to escape the lava. WHY was she concerned? Because that’s exactly what she and her brothers used to do everyday. It drove her mom bonkers. So she designed a “Lava Proof” spot for kids to jump on instead. Basically, this was a 12″ diameter cake circle. Kids could color in the Lava Proof template and decorate it with stickers and patterned tape.

lava proof spotsOne kid, however, took safety a step further and made her spot “Cheetah Proof” as well.

cheetah proof spot

I mentioned that Katie designed the project with volcanoes in mind. So true! Our world traveler just returned from a family vacation on the Big Island of Hawai’i, where she visited Kīlauea and Fissure 8. I asked her to share her volcanic adventures…

My scientist husband and rock obsessed son were keen on getting a good glimpse at Fissure 8, so we sprung for a helicopter tour to take us over the fissure and along the coast where the lava is entering the ocean.

coastlineOur pilot, Scott, described what we were seeing from the windows of our helicopter the best: it is uncomfortably beautiful. Uncomfortable in the sense that many people have lost their homes and possessions because of the volcanic eruption, but beautiful because we were witnessing the birth of new land created by one of the most powerful natural forces on our planet.

The lava from Fissure 8 was breathtaking. It was pumping out of the ground like a fountain, literally creating a river of molten rock that was moving so fast it had rapids.

fissure 8I think what astounded me the most was the glow Fissure 8 created along the horizon, especially at night. We drove to Pāhoa one evening, which is the closest town to Fissure 8. The entire sky was an eerie orange color that would pulse and move as the lava erupted out of the ground. We also watched a sunset from Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island, and stayed until it was completely dark to stargaze and see the Milky Way galaxy. You can see the volcanic glow from Fissure 8 on Mauna Kea, and they are separated by 60 miles! Incredible!

milky wayMahalo nui loa, Goddess Pele, for sharing your majesty with us. Our trip is one we will never, ever forget.