Explosive Ideas!

Don’t you just love the exotic names? Stromboli, Etna, Vesuvius, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Cerro Auquihuato, Hekla, Surtsey and let’s not forget Eyafjallajokull (that one really gave the newsreaders problems last year when we had the ash cloud). All World Globevolcanoes, of course – and most children can’t resist them.

Volcanic Activity Around the World

There are lots of activities that you could do themed around volcanoes. Why not make a list with a different volcano for every letter of the alphabet. Studying Iceland alone could give you a good start! Take a globe and look at the places where most volcanic activity takes place. Then narrow the search – perhaps look at the map of a continent like South America – and pick out the most active areas. Then move on to the map or Europe and consider Iceland. Some of the children may have been on holiday to Italy, so you can describe volcanoes nearer home. When my son was small we did Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli on various holidays. I still remember how long it took to get the smell of sulphur off our skin and swimwear after bathing in a hot mud puddle!

Do It Yourself Volcanoes

PomsOr why not make your own? Take some green card and make a shallow cone and glue the edges, ensuring that you have a hole at the top for the crater and trimming the bottom so that the cone stands up on its own. Now make a similar cone out of black card but cut it a little shorter and make the bottom edge uneven. Put it over the green one. This represents the cool, solidified lava that has run its course down the mountainside. Next make a red or orange cone and cut even shorter – again, make the edge uneven. Put it over the black cone – this is the fresh, hot lava. Then take some red and orange tissue paper and make flames – tuck these into the open crater at the top so they look as though they’re shooting out of the top of the mountain. Finally, take some assorted pom poms and stick black, red and orange ones to the tissue paper and mountainside to represent volcanic bombs in various stages of cooling. You could even add a sprinkling of ash.

Making resources needn’t cost a fortune and when the children can be involved it makes the learning experience all the more special!

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