This experiment from Kids Science Experiments was a big hit and Charlotte is still fascinated with it. As long as you have an extra bottle laying around you’re almost guaranteed to have the ingredients in your house and it’s an easy turnaround for instant gratification which is good for our three year old!
Immediacy of results: Instant
Prepwork needed: None other than getting materials
Time required: 15+ minutes
Plastic bottle with lid
Glue gun and glue (optional)
Step 1: Gather materials
Step 2: Tint water with food coloring
Step 3: Fill bottle 3/4 of the way full with oil
Step 4: Put funnel in bottle and pour colored water into bottle
Step 5: Use hot glue gun to glue bottle cap back on to ensure no spillage
Step 6: Enjoy your lava lamp!
As you can see this isn’t technically a lamp but it’s the general concept so the title, mostly, works. After a few days the oil turned cloudy instead of transparent but it still is neat to turn up and down and watch the two liquids not mix. This is a great activity to talk about why some liquids mix and others don’t for older kids.