When it comes to teaching science, I have a hard time remembering to pick up supplies for the hands-on projects that make it fun. That is why I love projects that can be made from supplies that you just have lying around the house (like this fun recipe for slime or these rainbow recipes for kids!)
When I saw the cloud in a cup demonstration from Science for Kids, I knew we had to recreate the project! Monkey already knows how clouds form, but it was fun to see just how much water the “cloud” could actually hold!
The Science Lesson: How Clouds Form
This lesson shows children how clouds form and why it rains. Water evaporating from the ground forms into clouds. When the clouds gets full of water, they release the water to the ground the make rain. This version uses food coloring to visually illustrate the falling rain.
- Clear glass or plastic cup
- Food coloring (we used blue)
- White shaving cream
|Here is the cloud without rain!|
Fill the glass mostly full with water. Next, fill the top of the glass with white shaving cream. We actually don’t use real shaving cream, so at first I thought we wouldn’t be able to do this project, but my husband uses a brush and soap to shave with, so I just made a bunch of soap lather and it worked perfectly!
Have the child(ren) drip drops of food coloring into the “cloud” one at a time. It took longer for the cloud to rain than I thought it would, so be patient. After a while, the drops will seep through the shaving cream and it will look like it is raining in the cup! Ours actually looked like a mini tornado. It was really fun to watch. Monkey was completely fascinated.
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|Here is the almost fully saturated rain. I love how it looks like a tornado in the center.|
After it stops raining, the food coloring will gradually disperse into every area of the cup, turning the water blue (or whatever color you use). Monkey thought that was equally fascinating as the food color rain.
Talk about the cycle of weather and how the cloud in a cup is different from real clouds. Discuss where water comes from, and why it evaporates.
We thought the process was so cool, I filmed how our clouds formd. This is my first Internet video ever, so it’s not so great, but hey, science!
Now, if you don’t want to make it yourself, you can at least watch how we did it!
What do you think of our cloud in a cup?
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