Adventures in Wonderlab

Adventures in Wonderlab

Fun science adventures for all ages!

Sand Volcanoes and Frozen Treasure Chests!

Looking to get the kids outside? How do sand volcanoes and frozen treasure chests sound?

Sand Volcanoes

If sand toys are losing their appeal, sand volcanoes can make playtime more exciting. Sand volcanoes are fairly easy to create, and can be repeated over and over – or until you run out of vinegar and baking soda!

First, have your kids create a mountain of sand – we found that adding water to the sand really helped our sand mountains maintain their shape

Build a sand mountain

Next, press a crater into the center of the volcano – try to make it narrow and deep for better eruptions.

Press a crater in the mountain

Then, add about 1 Tablespoon of baking soda into the crater

Make a sand volcano

Finally, pour about 1/4 cup vinegar into the crater of your volcano. Sit back and enjoy the sand volcano reaction! Repeat until you run out of supplies.

Our sand volcanoes in action:

**Tip: Add a drop or two of dish soap for an extra bubbly eruption!**


Water Play: Frozen Treasure Chest

At the beginning of the summer, all we needed was the hose, and maybe a sprinkler for some real excitement. Water fun at its simplest! Sadly, by the end of the summer, I usually begin hear some whining and complaining when I suggest outdoor water play.

However, nothing can motivate my kids to get outside like the promise of frozen fun and hidden treasure. In this case, I froze a large plastic container filled with water and goodies (think small, cheap plastic toys). Then, the kids get to break apart and melt the ice in order to reach the treasure. Here are the steps:

First, make a large area available in your freezer so that the plastic container of your choice can fit inside (this is the hardest step!).

Then, fill a freezer-friendly container with a variety of cheap toys (new or old) and water.  Freeze toy treasures in layers – you will want to make 3 or 4 layers so that toys will be stuck throughout the chunk of ice. (First add a small layer of toys and water, then place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Then, add another layer of toys and water on top of the frozen layer, and freeze again. So on and so forth.)

Frozen treasure - layer 1

First layer of treasures

Frozen treasure - layer 2

Layer #2


After completing all layers of toys and water, freeze the container overnight. The next day, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw for a bit, so you can slide the giant ice chunk out.

Ice treasure chests

Next, give the kids treasure hunting supplies, such as: water guns, the hose, paint brushes, cups of water, (age-appropriate!) chiseling tools, etc. and let them get to work.

Ice treasure dig

Finding treasure

Use the hose to get treasure

As you can see, this can be done in your pj’s!

After finding all of the treasures the kids can divide and play with their newly discovered goodies, or the freezing process can begin again for the next day.

**Tip: if you do not have the time to freeze a large container, try several small containers, like Solo cups. The freezing time will be much less.**

I hope you soak up all of the fun the rest of this summer has to offer, and enjoy these moments with your family!

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