Sunday, July 12, 2015

8 Fun ways for Kids to Learn About Volcanoes




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Mount Raung has been spewing ash into the sky for a week, the Denpasar airport in Bali, and a few others in Indonesia closed for two days. Last Monday we spent a night in a "nature adventure" hotel on West Bali where we could see the ash plume coming out of Mt. Raung. Our stuff was constantly being covered in ash and we couldn´t eat outside or we would eat it little black specks.




All this volcano activity has reminded me of all the volcano oriented conversations with Big Kiddo throughout this entire year. It all started in Phuket when we tried Homeschooling with interest lead themes. Of course the first theme was Volcanoes and it never let up. 

Big Kiddo still loves learning about them, we have even made up bedtime stories about a Balinese/Peruvian Vulcanologist who travels the world photographing eruptions.



Big Kiddo in West Java with Mt. Raung erupting in the backgound

8 Great Ways to Learn about Volcanoes



1. Build your Own Volcano! 

We made ours out of cut up cardboard boxes, colored crepe paper, colored glue, plastic trees and plastic animals. It took us a couple of days and the kiddos loved making it.







2. The Home Made Erupting Volcano. 

We couldn´t skip the all time favorite science experiment of Baking Soda and Vinegar with red food coloring. We decided to not erupt our cardboard volcano because once you cover it in vinegar, the art is destroyed. We made all kinds of other erupting volcanoes, with play-doh and with sand but the favorite was the lego volcano. 

There are a few different recipes for this chemical reaction and we found that the best way for the "lava" to be really red is to mix the Baking Soda with lots of red powdered food coloring, put that in the crater first and mix the vinegar with dish soap before pouring it on top of the powders. FUN!

Kiddos call it "Volcan que llora por la sangre" meaning "Volcano that cries through blood". I have no idea why, they made it up and it stuck.



3. Make an Awesome Collage

Making collages is so much fun for everyone involved; looking for things to paste, deciding what style to use, are great conversation starters with the kiddos. We used old magazines and decided to use a color scheme with some paint in the background. Big Kiddo loved adding the airplane in the sky!

To further the learning experience, we made labels for the different parts of the volcano. Our collage has an erupting volcano in the front and a dormant one in the back. 

Our collage´s title is EL GRAN VOLCAN!



4. Sizes, Shapes and Order

When we started the Homeschooling adventure I was pretty good at it and tried all kinds of things. This activity was mostly for Small Kiddo who needed introductions to shapes and sizes, I added the double language for Big Kiddo. They helped me color the illustrations too!

We made three empty squares, a big one, a middle one and a small one, then we made cut out squares in the same sizes numbered for the order of volcano activity. 

I actually think this activity was my best in terms of learning things together. The kiddos really enjoyed it too.


5. Get the kids to draw their own Volcano

Once kiddos know what volcanoes look like, try and get them to draw their own version. Big kiddo drew the black and red one last year and this year he drew the one with the trees. Small Kiddo hasn´t done her version yet.


6. Go live on a Volcanic Island 

Bali has three volcanoes on it and Indonesia has many volcanoes in all its islands. About once a month we go to Kintamani to see Mt. Batur. Volcanoes are extremely important in Bali, pretty much everything revolves around them. 

We know how to say Volcano in Bahasa too, it´s "Gunung". 



7. Check out Images and Videos of Erupting Volcanoes

Youtube is your best friend when looking for great hot lava videos. Big Kiddo´s favorites are the ones of Kilauea in Hawaii, especially the close up videos of the lava flow, and the ones that fall into the ocean.

Kiddos also loved the lava photos from the Bohemian Travelers Hawaii Adventure blog.


8. Invent a story abut a Photographer Vulcanologist

It all started as a bedtime story and evolved into an entire alter ego thing. Big Kiddo pretends he is the vulcanologist and makes up stories of the volcanoes he would like to visit and photograph. 

The vulcanologist´s name is Ketut Jorge and he is half Balinese half Peruvian. I am trying to actually write a short story about Ketut Jorge, here´s a little guest post I did about it.




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