Wednesday, 19 January 2011


For Christmas, the mother-in-law wisely bought both her grandsons a Build A Volcano kit. I expect she was thinking it would annoy me and my sister-in-law because we'd have the mess of building and subsequently exploding it. It was a good choice: my son is currently obsessed with volcanoes and lava after watching Revenge of the Sith!

(Sadly for my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law left the kit at her mum's house so she had to build it with her grandson. That serves her right. She said she used up almost a tub of Atrixo because the moulding stage dried her hands out so much!)

I was more upset at the spelling mistake on the box

Last weekend, we decided to build the volcano so we could explode it this weekend. Forward planning and all that. Not that there is anything important happening this weekend that requires explosions.

The box (on which was printed the proud description "Make and erupt a gaint volcano"; Gaint! I nearly fainted at the poor proofreading) contained a plastic mould, tubing, goggles, a measuring cylinder, sand mix for the volcano, and baking powder. The instructions (replete with further spelling errors, gah!) were fairly straightforward, although I'm not sure how many people have a "disposable bucket" to hand. Oddly, we did, so we could proceed.

The instructions reckoned we could make and erupt the volcano in 20 minutes. Let's see. We mixed up the sand compound, using slightly less water than stated (as recommended by my mother-in-law because she said the mix was very runny). It was still runny, but the instructions said we should leave the mix for about 5 minutes and it would harden enough to be moulded. No way, it took about 20 minutes before it was pliable enough to stick to the mould and be shaped. I had to pad the base with kitchen roll to ensure a "moat" was preserved, and the same at the top to form a "crater".

Front page news! Stevenage Town beat Newcastle in the FA Cup.
After much reshaping I was fairly happy with the result and left it to dry overnight. ("I" is correct here. The kids lost interest after stirring the sand mix.)

The next morning, during breakfast (of course) we decided to paint the volcano. This is the sort of crafty nightmare I would only dare attempt when my husband wasn't present. But the finished product was fairly impressive, if I do say so myself.

Green for trees, red for lava, brown for, erm, rocks...
I'm not sure how this model could be made and erupted within 20 minutes, as stated on the box. Fortunately, we are not that keen. This weekend, we will put baking powder in the crater and squirt vinegar up the tube and it should explode triumphantly.


  1. Oh how fab is that?! My older kids had volcano kits when they were younger but it came with a ready made volcano to which you just added the stuff to make nice messy explosions; quick, but not nearly as much fun! I look forward to seeing yours go off! If, like mine, they then become obsessed with blowing things up you can move on to bicarb and vinegar rockets in the garden!
    Thanks for linking to Something for the Weekend!

  2. Awesome collection.. Some really inspiring, colourful designs!!


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