Experiments, Holiday, Inexpensive and Versatile, STEM Resources


We did a fun experiment to make our own LAVA LAMP GLITTER REINDEERS!


  • 1 jar with lid (preferably not breakable – I bought my plastic jars from the Dollar Store)
  • Brown construction paper cut into reindeer ears
  • 2 eyes (I purchased mine from the Dollar Store)
  • Either red construction paper shaped into a nose, a red pom pom or red stickers (we used red stickers from the Dollar Store)
  • Black permanent marker or Black construction paper shaped into a mouth
  • 2 brown pipe cleaners
  • Hot Glue Gun (to glue the pipe cleaners to the lid)
  • Craft glue or Glue Stick (glue stick seemed was not strong enough to keep the pieces on, recommend a craft glue)
  • Glitter (any preferred color – I purchased ours from the Dollar Store)
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Alka-seltzer Tablets


  1. Decorate a jar that looks like a reindeer (honestly, you could make anything… a Santa, Reindeer, Snowman, a pretty decorated Christmas jar, etc.).
  2. Add glitter to the bottom of the container. Start with maybe 1 teaspoon of glitter.
  3. Add water to the jar (gently so as not to splash the glitter up on the jar) – fill it 1/3 of the way full.
  4. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water.
  5. Fill it the rest of the way full with oil, almost to the top.
  6. Drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet and watch the Lava Lamp flow!
  7. Cap the top of the jar and watch the show!


  • The density (amount of mass per unit volume) of water is less than that of the oil so the oil sits on top.
  • When alka-seltzer (citric acid and sodium bicarbonate) touches the water, it reacts to form carbon dioxide gas and sodium citrate. It’s a chemical reaction.
  • The carbon dioxide carries the colored water and glitter to the top of the jar.

Have fun!!!


DISCLAIMER: This project was modeled after but modified with our own images and decorating from Science-sparks.com. They have a video available for more details on their website!

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