Easy Science Experiments: How Clouds Form and Rain Falls

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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.

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 work, but it was fun to see just how much water the “cloud” could actually hold!

The Science Lesson

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.

The Supplies

  • Clear glass or plastic cup
  • Food coloring (we used blue)
  • White shaving cream
Here is the cloud without rain!

The Experiment

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.

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.

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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 it. 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? 

More Science Fun

Science Nature Walk

Linked with:  All Things ThursdayGreat Idea ThursdayThursday Favorite ThingsCatch a GlimpseHip Homeschool Hop Bloom DesignsPin it PartySeven AliveThriving ThursdayLink ‘in BlogsFamily Fun FridayFriendship FridayFoodie and Craftie SoireeKids Co-Op

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  1. says

    I love this as it is stimulating enough for my sensory seeker but educational enough for my 6 year old.Thank you for linking up with the Kids Coop – I will feature it this week.

  2. says

    This is a very creative way to show what is happening in the sky! I think I can even remember how to do this from your illustration and video. Its definitely going to happen here at our homeschool and maybe just maybe we will grow some meteorologists.

  3. Alyssa says

    What a great science experiment! I just wanted to let you know that I am posting this on my science roundup on Simply Creative Kids if you don’t mind.

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