Parts of the Volcano and Stages of a Volcanic Eruption Printable and Hands-on Activities

Introduce your young learners to the captivating world of volcanoes with these engaging Montessori volcano printables and hands-on science activities! Designed for preschool, kindergarten, and Grade 1 students, these resources include 3-part cards, information cards, student booklets, matching cards, and diagrams focused on the stages of volcanic eruption, types of volcanoes, and volcanoes of the continents.

Parts of volcano stages of volcanic eruption types of volcanoes montessori nature 3 part information cards student booklets printables activities (5)

Exploring the topic of volcanoes makes way for so many learning opportunities. Children pick up important geography concepts along the way. And who doesn’t love conducting a volcano experiment with bicarb of soda and vinegar? We used to make a volcano landscape in our classroom out of salt dough that children painted once it was dry. It was a perfect invitation to play set up for little preschoolers that also included dinosaur figures.

About Volcano

A volcano is a geological formation that occurs when magma, ash, and gas escape from beneath the Earth’s surface. There are several types of volcanoes, including stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, and cinder cones. Some volcanoes are dormant for a long time, while others are active and erupt frequently. Volcanic eruptions can cause a variety of hazards, including lava flows, ashfall, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. Despite the risks, volcanoes can also create new land and provide important mineral resources. Scientists study volcanoes to better understand the processes that shape our planet.

Animals and their homes montessori nature sort matching free printables sign up

Explore the fascinating world of volcanoes with these fun and informative facts for kids:

Volcanoes are openings in the Earth’s crust that allow molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from deep below the surface.

The lava that flows from volcanoes can reach temperatures of up to 1,250 degrees Celsius (2,200 degrees Fahrenheit).

There are around 1,500 active volcanoes on Earth, with many more found on the ocean floor.

The largest volcano in our solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars, which is about 13.6 miles high (nearly three times higher than Mount Everest).

Volcanic eruptions can create new landmasses, such as the Hawaiian Islands, which are formed by underwater volcanic activity.

The “Ring of Fire” is a horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific Ocean known for its frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Volcanic ash can travel thousands of miles from the eruption site and affect air travel, agriculture, and the environment.

Some volcanoes are extinct, meaning they are unlikely to erupt again, while others are dormant and could erupt in the future.

Volcanoes can have different shapes, including shield volcanoes like Mauna Loa, stratovolcanoes like Mount Fuji, and cinder cone volcanoes like Paricutin in Mexico.

Studying volcanoes helps scientists better understand Earth’s geology and the processes that shape our planet.

Stages of a volcano eruption

There are typically four main stages of a volcanic eruption: the precursory stage, the explosive stage or the effusive stage, the paroxysmal stage, and the waning stage. The precursory stage involves an increase in volcanic activity, such as earthquakes and gas emissions.

The explosive stage can produce ash, lava bombs, and pyroclastic flows. The effusive stage involves the steady flow of lava. The paroxysmal stage is the most explosive, producing large amounts of ash and tephra. Finally, the waning stage involves a decrease in volcanic activity and an eventual return to dormancy.

child holding a tube pouring liquid into a handsmade volcano

Volcano activities and science experiments for preschool students

Engage preschool children in fun, hands-on science activities with a volcano and dinosaur theme!

These hands-on science activities with a volcano and dinosaur theme are designed to stimulate preschoolers’ imaginations, encourage exploration, and foster a love for learning through play. Let the adventure begin as young scientists embark on a journey back in time to explore the world of dinosaurs and volcanoes!

Dinosaur Dig Excavation: Set up a pretend dinosaur dig site with sand, rocks, and hidden dinosaur toys or fossils. Provide children with small shovels, brushes, and magnifying glasses to excavate the “fossils” and learn about paleontology.

Volcano Eruption Sensory Play: Create a mini volcano using playdough or modeling clay and baking soda. When children add vinegar mixed with red food coloring, watch as the volcano erupts and “lava” flows down the sides. This sensory experiment is sure to delight little scientists.

  1. Gather materials: You will need a small container (such as a water bottle or cup), baking soda, vinegar, red food coloring, dish soap, and a tray or container to contain the mess.
  2. Set up the experiment area: Place the container on the tray or container to catch any overflow. You may also want to place a towel underneath to catch any spills.
  3. Fill the container with about 1/4 cup of vinegar and add a few drops of red food coloring to represent the lava.
  4. Add a few drops of dish soap to the vinegar mixture. This will help create foaming lava when combined with the baking soda.
  5. In a separate container, mix about 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste-like consistency.
  6. Show the children how to carefully pour the baking soda mixture into the vinegar mixture. The reaction between the two substances will create the lava flow.
  7. Allow the children to observe and describe what is happening as the foam erupts from the β€œvolcano.”
  8. Encourage the children to repeat the experiment multiple times, adjusting the amounts of baking soda and vinegar to see how it affects the eruption.
  9. Discuss the science behind the experiment with the children, explaining how the combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas, causing the foaming eruption.
  10. Have the children clean up any spills and dispose of the materials properly after the experiment is complete.
children looking at a handmade volcano with white foam flowing down

Fossil Imprints: Use dinosaur figurines to create fossil imprints in homemade salt dough or modeling clay. Children can press the dinosaur toys into the dough and then carefully remove them to reveal their fossil imprints.

Dinosaur Egg Hatch: Fill balloons with water and plastic dinosaurs, then freeze them overnight. The next day, provide children with tools to “hatch” the dinosaur eggs by melting the ice and releasing the toy dinosaurs.

Volcano Painting: Set up a volcano painting activity by mixing baking soda with colored vinegar to create fizzy volcano eruptions on paper. Children can use droppers or paintbrushes to create colorful volcanic artworks.

Dinosaur Habitat Sensory Bin: Create a sensory bin filled with sand, rocks, plastic plants, and toy dinosaurs. Encourage children to explore the habitat, create stories, and engage in imaginative play with the dinosaurs.

Volcano Playdough Mountain: Invite children to mold playdough into a volcano shape and insert a small cup of baking soda inside. When they pour vinegar into the cup, watch as the volcano “erupts” and bubbles over with excitement.

Volcano hands on activities for elementary students

Volcanic Eruptions Model: Create a hands-on volcanic eruption model using baking soda, vinegar, and red food coloring. Watch in amazement as the mixture bubbles and foams, mimicking a real volcanic eruption.

Volcano Mini-Ecosystem: Build a mini-ecosystem inside a terrarium or glass jar and simulate an active volcano by adding baking soda and vinegar to create a volcanic eruption effect. Observe how the plants and animals interact with the volcanic environment.

Volcano Rock Classification: Collect different types of rocks and classify them based on their origin (igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic) and composition. Use a magnifying glass to examine the rocks closely and identify key features.

types of rocks rock life cycle printable

Types of Rocks Printable

Volcano Landform Mapping: Use modeling clay or playdough to create a 3D model of a volcano and its surrounding landforms. Label the different parts of the volcano, such as the crater, vent, and cone, and discuss how these structures form during volcanic activity.

Volcanic Rock Experiment: Investigate the properties of volcanic rocks by conducting a density experiment. Compare the density of pumice, obsidian, and basalt rocks by measuring their weight and volume and calculating their density.

Volcano Eruption Timeline: Create a timeline of famous volcanic eruptions and their impacts on the environment and human populations. Use pictures, maps, and written descriptions to highlight key events and volcanic hazards.

Volcano Field Trip: Take a virtual or real-life field trip to a volcanic site or museum to observe volcanic rocks, minerals, and artifacts up close. Engage in hands-on activities, such as volcanic rock collecting and volcano simulations, to deepen students’ understanding of volcanic processes.

These hands-on Montessori volcano science activities are sure to spark curiosity, inspire discovery, and ignite a passion for geology and natural phenomena in students of all ages. Let the volcanic learning adventures begin!

Parts of volcano stages of volcanic eruption types of volcanoes montessori nature 3 part information cards student booklets printables activities (5)

parts of a Volcano and stages of a volcano eruption printables

Introduce your young learners to the captivating world of volcanoes with these engaging Montessori volcano printables and hands-on science activities! Designed for preschool, kindergarten, and Grade 1 students, these resources include 3-part cards, information cards, student booklets, matching cards, and diagrams focused on the stages of volcanic eruption, types of volcanoes, and volcanoes of the continents.

Why These Resources Are a Great Addition to Your Classroom:

  • Hands-On Exploration: The interactive nature of the printables and activities allows students to explore volcanoes in a tactile and engaging way, promoting hands-on learning experiences.
  • Cross-Curricular Connections: These materials serve as a valuable geography resource that can be integrated into lessons about dinosaurs, the Montessori First Great Lesson, and Earth units, enhancing students’ understanding of these interconnected topics.
  • Visual Learning Tools: The diagrams and visual aids provided in the printables help students better grasp complex concepts related to volcanoes, making learning more accessible and fun.
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Through activities like matching cards and student booklets, students are encouraged to think critically about the stages of volcanic eruption, types of volcanoes, and geographical distribution of volcanoes on continents.

Whether used as part of a unit study or as standalone activities, these volcano Montessori printables and hands-on science activities offer a dynamic way to ignite curiosity and deepen students’ knowledge of volcanoes and the Earth’s natural processes. Don’t miss out on this invaluable resource for your geography lessons!

In this printable, I included a Parts of the Volcano poster with labels, a poster for inserting labels, and label cards. Blackline master can be used along with the three-part cards or with the poster. Parts of the Volcano’s photographic cards feature a slightly different set of vocabulary but both resources – poster, and cards – complement each other nicely.

Here is what’s included

  • Stages of a Volcanic Eruption poster
  • Stages of a Volcanic Eruption 3 part cards
  • Stages of a Volcanic Eruption information cards
  • Stages of a Volcanic Eruption coloring, cutting, and pasting worksheet
  • Stages of a Volcanic Eruption tracing strips
  • Parts of a Volcano diagram
  • Parts of a Volcano 3 part cards
  • Parts of a Volcano booklet (independent writing)
  • Parts of a Volcano student activity page
  • Parts of a Volcano labels
  • Parts of a Volcano tracing and independent writing
  • Types of Volcano 3 part cards
  • Types of Volcano information cards
  • Volcanoes of the seven continents picture and information cards
  • My Book About Stages of the Volcanic Eruptions
  • Volcano – information poster

Age: Preschool ages 3 – 6 years

Subjects and uses in the classroom: Volcano Unit, Cosmic Education, First Great Lesson, Dinosaur Unit, Science Centers, Fine motor, Prewriting


Parts of a Volcano – Gather books about volcanoes for children to explore. Print posters and label cards on cardstock and laminate. Cut individual label cards. Attach clear velcro to the poster without labels and label cards.

Present the poster – name all parts and invite the students to share their thoughts on the various functions of each part and do their own research. Then read each label and invite the student to match it to the corresponding part of the volcano.

Stages of a Volcanic Eruption poster – print on cardstock and laminate. Present all stages of a Volcanic Eruption. Invite the children to retell them or tell their own story that features all the stages.

Stages of a Volcanic Eruption 3-part cards – Print on cardstock and laminate if you wish to preserve colors and card quality for future use. Place picture cards in a column and invite the children to match the picture to the picture and the word to the word. Present control cards and invite the child to lay the stages of a volcanic eruption in the correct order.

Stages of a Volcanic Eruption line art – supply scissors, glue, and coloring pencils. Invite the student to color and cut cards and glue them into the correct sequence.

Stages of a Volcanic Eruption tracing/labeling and coloring worksheets – print on cardstock and laminate. Supply an erasable pen. Invite the child to trace the words and color corresponding images. Alternatively, print pages on regular printing paper and invite the child to trace or label the stages of a volcanic eruption.

Parts of Volcano Stages of Volcanic Eruption Types of Volcanoes


Enhance your geography curriculum with these engaging volcano printables! This comprehensive set includes detailed information on the stages of volcanic eruption, parts of the volcano, volcanoes of the continents, and different types of volcanoes. Perfect for integrating into lessons about dinosaurs, the Montessori First Great Lesson, or Earth units, these printables are designed for preschool,…

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About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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