Make your own lava lamp

Here’s a fun science experiment that we did Wednesday night at our Headlands Branch that you and your kids can do at home.

Jack fills his bottle with oil and water and lets them settle.

Jack fills his bottle with oil and water and lets them settle.

Step 1: Fill a plastic bottle with one part water, two parts oil and let them settle. Use a funnel or this experiment gets a lot messier.

Rachel adds food coloring to her mixture.

Rachel adds food coloring to her mixture.

Step 2: Once the water and oil have settled, add ten drops of food coloring—any color you like.

Ellie drops a glow stick in to add a little color.

Ellie drops a glow stick in to add a little color.

Step 3: If you’re feeling funky, activate a glow stick by cracking it and then drop it in the bottle. (Note: if you’re going to keep your lava lamp, you’ll have to swap out your glow stick every now and again.)

Olivia reaches for an alka-seltzer tablet.

Olivia reaches for an Alka-Seltzer tablet.

Step 4: Drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet your bottle and watch the colored water erupt into the oil. The more pieces of tablet you put in, the crazier it will get.

Once the tablet dissipates, the oil and colored water will settle back down. But all you need is another tablet to get the party started again.

This year we’ve dedicated our Summer Reading Program to science, so we’ve been making fun experiments all summer.

In June, we made tiny hovercrafts out of CDs and balloons over at the Headlands Branch. On August 13, we’ll be blowing stuff up. (Don’t worry. The explosions will be small, though they may be a little messy.)

Our Summer Reading Program runs until Aug. 2. That means there is still time for your child to become a Library Champion.

Everyone who participates in our summer reading programs—either by reading and/or attending library programs—has a chance to win prizes. Grand prizes include a $100 gift card from Toys ‘R’ Us for kids and Nook eReaders for teens and adults. The more someone reads, the better chance they have of winning something.

And everyone is invited to our Summer Reading Finale, Aug. 7 over at our Read House, which is next door to our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue.

Visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page for more photos of kids making their own lava lamps.

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