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Five Fun and Educational Volcano Actitivies

Mount Saint Helens Erupting

Photo Source: USGS

Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, thirty-five years ago this week.

In honor of the eruption, below are five fun and educational volcano activities to share with your kids this summer.

Fun Summer Learning Activity #1

Be a History Sleuth
Even if you were not alive and in the northwest when the mountain erupted, chances are you have family, friends, and neighbors who were. Make a game of collecting as many first-hand accounts of the eruption you can.

Fun Summer Learning Activity #2

Create Your Own Eruption
The baking soda-vinegar reaction is classic volcano science. If your child likes art, make a volcano vessel. If art is not their thing, the reaction works just as well in a clean two liter bottle. Get directions online and make sure this one is supervised for safety.

Fun Summer Learning Activity #3

Show Me the (Lost) Money
The Mt. St. Helens eruption was the most economically destructive volcano in U.S. history. Have your child draw a map of the blast zone and ash zones for the eruption then research and/or discuss what infrastructure may have been damaged and how the volcano disrupted our local industry.

Fun Summer Learning Activity #4

Draw Before and After Pictures
Nothing shows the power of the eruption like contrasting photos of the dormant snow-capped mountain with the smoking gray erupted volcano. The 9,600 foot volcano blew off 1,600 feet of its summit in the blast. Would be extra fun if your child builds a before and after picture overlay.

Fun Summer Learning Activity #5

Go to the Volcano
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument is a four hour drive from Seattle and absolutely worth the trip. In addition to educational centers, the volcano is open for hiking, climbing, fishing, bicycling, horseback riding, and camping. The United States Forest Service and the Mount St. Helens Institute have park information, park guides, and events posted to their websites.

Mount Saint Helens Websites
USFS Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Mount Saint Helens Institute
Forest Learning Center at Mt. Saint Helens

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