Set the celebratory spirit at your next science themed birthday party by having your guests make fizzing fun lava lamps. This experiment is visually exciting, inexpensive, easy to execute and will result in a super cool take home gift for your birthday party guests to share and enjoy.

Use vegetable oil to make a cool lava lamp effect with this science birthday experiment.


Vegetable oil


One smooth sided and clear empty bottle for each guest. Be sure to keep the caps as you will need them if you are sending the guests home with their fizzing fun lava lamps. You will need to remove the label and any adhesive residue. I like to choose bottles that are around one liter sized.

Food coloring – I like to have multiple colors available for the guests.

Alka-Seltzer antacid tablets – at least one tablet per each guest.


Use Alka-Seltzer tablets to create the bubbles in your fizzing fun lava lamp.


Fill each bottle about one third of the way full with water.

Now, use the funnel to slowly fill the remaining two thirds of the bottle with vegetable oil. Be sure to avoid filling the lava lamps to the rim by leaving an inch or so of empty space. This will keep the lava lamps from bubbling over.

Allow each guest to choose a color and have them squirt ten or so drops of food coloring into their bottle.

Break several Alka-Seltzer tablets into three or four pieces so you have a decent sized fragment for each guest.

Distribute the pieces of Alka-Seltzer and instruct the guests to drop the piece of Alka-Seltzer into the bottle. You will want to assist younger guests with this step.

The fizzing fun lava lamps will begin and continue to bubble until the Alka-Seltzer dissolves. To start the fizzing fun lava lamps up again, just add another piece of Alka-Seltzer tablet.

Once everyone has enjoyed their fizzing fun lava lamp and you are ready to move on to the next experiment in your science birthday party, instruct each guest to put the cap onto their lava lamp securely. You will want to double check to make sure the lids are on correctly.

The fizzing fun lava lamps are great for just about any science themed birthday party. Red food coloring gives a great lava effect for dinosaur or rock themed parties. Green food coloring will lend itself well to zombie or space themed parties, while blue would fit nicely with ocean themed science birthday parties. You can also use a hot glue gun to add small dinosaurs or other things to the lids to give the lava lamps a little more character.

Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight through your fizzing fun lava lamp for a super cool effect!

You can even shut off the lights and shine a flashlight through the fizzing fun lava lamps for a really cool and groovy effect!