Color and Shape Fine Motor Ideas: Surprise Rainbow Volcanoes

Surprise rainbow volcano fun! An easy science experiment for kids that practices fine motor and colors at the same time.

Today I've got a fun and easy sensory play and fine motor practice activity as part of our color and shape preschool unit.  For this activity, I wanted my daughters to work on pinching a medicine dropper.  We did this at the last minute before bed.  I don't usually do messy play while daddy is home because he can't tolerate it like I can.  It was nice to have him there so we could each help a little one with squeezing the dropper.

Supplies needed:

  • 13x9 glass pan (doesn't have to be glass but I had it on hand and knew the girls would be supervised)
  • Drops of food coloring
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Medicine Droppers

First, I put different color food coloring drops all around the pan.
 Then, I covered the whole thing with baking soda thick enough so you couldn't see any of the color.  The girls had no idea what was underneath.
 Then I brought it outside along with two cups of vinegar and two droppers.  We showed the girls how to squeeze the dropper to collect the vinegar and then squeeze again to release the vinegar and create a rainbow volcano.
 M, my littlest one needed a lot of help from daddy to squeeze.  K, my three year old, got it but struggled with squeezing it first before putting it in the cup to get the most amount of vinegar in it.  She just wanted to put it in the cup and then squeeze, which only gives you a little bit of liquid at a time.
 They loved exploring and seeing all the different surprise colors.  Daddy showed them that if they put the dropper under the baking soda and squeezed the vinegar you got a bigger reaction than just dropping it on the surface.
When it was done we poured the rest of the vinegar on the top to make sure we saw all the colors.  Then we easily dumped it out and rinsed everything off.  Very little mess and clean up, especially since daddy was involved.

For more ideas for teaching colors and shapes, click HERE for my Preschool Mini Unit.