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DIY Lava Lamps for Kids!

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These DIY Lava Lam’s are super easy to make and Kids LOVE them!

Are you looking for a fun Science Experiment to do with your kids? These DIY Lava Lamps cost less than $10 and take less than 10 minutes to make and will entertain your kids for hours. My kids practically wanted to take their Lava Lamps with them wherever they went for the first few days after we made them. So let’s get down to how to make them.  


  • 1 Large Water Bottle (Half filled with water)
  • Oil
  • Food Coloring
  • Alka-seltzer Tablets


  1. Fill your water bottle half way with Water. I just bought some large VASS Bottled waters and let the kids drink them half way. I like VASS because the water bottles are smooth so it is easier to see the Lava Lamp effect. They are also made of sturdier plastic than normal water bottles so you don’t have to worry about them breaking as easily. Lastly. I just like how they look in general.
  2. Fill Bottle the rest of the way with Oil (leaving about an inch gap at the top of the bottle)  I used plain old vegetable oil but I am sure any oil would work.
  3. Add 10 Drops of Food Coloring.  The Blue and red food coloring we used turned out better than the purple but I am sure any color will work.
  4. For Lava Lamp reaction drop 1/4 -1/2 of an Alka-Seltzer tablet into the bottle and quickly screw on the lid. 

For a full video tutorial here is a youtube video of me making these with my kids: 

**As a note though the VASS bottles are made with sturdy plastic they can still break. Because of this, I didn’t allow my kids to take these Lava Lamps over carpet (I just didn’t want to deal with the possible mess if the oil, water, and food coloring got all over the carpet. So they got to use them in the kitchen/dining room or outside. This was fine with my kids. 

Also due to the possible mess if these bottles spilled when putting in Alka-Seltzer tablets are put in I made it a rule that only I was allowed to open the bottles for the kids to put new tablets in.  Thankfully, even when they weren’t active Lava lamps the kids still had fun shaking their bottles to watch the colored water and oil mix together. I have to admit they do look pretty cool.

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Jenn (@jennerinyvr)

Tuesday 7th of August 2018

I had a lava lamp on my wish list as a kid but never got one. How I would have LOVED to have DIY'ed this but now I get to make this with my daughter.

Brittani | Coffee Toddlers and Chaos

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

I loved my lava lamp when I was a kid. This is such a fun way for kids to not only have a lava lamp, but do a science experiment in the process.

Kate Shelby

Friday 14th of July 2017

So good! Sharing on social media on Sunday xx I know what to do with empty VOSS water bottles now!


Friday 14th of July 2017

I am glad you liked the tutorial.


Thursday 13th of July 2017

Such a great idea! I love those water bottles, they are really versatile


Thursday 13th of July 2017

I know...right? We use them all the time for fun projects.