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!)
Monkey already knows how clouds form, but we were curious how to make a cloud in a jar anyway!
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. Use the tutorial below to learn how to make a cloud in a jar.
How to Make a Cloud in a Jar
Things you will need:
|Here is the cloud without rain!|
The Shaving Cream Science Experiment
This is the easiest way to lean how to make a cup in a jar.
Fill the glass mostly full with water. Next, fill the top of the glass with white shaving cream. The more cream you add, the thicker your cloud will be, but the longer it will take for the food coloring to penetrate the cloud layer.
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 looked like a mini tornado.
|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.Monkey thought that was equally fascinating as the food color rain.
The Science Behind The Cloud in a Jar
The shaving cream cloud represents real clouds. When real clouds become too heavy with liquid, just like the food coloring became too heavy for the shaving cream to hold, they 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 water evaporates.
Watch the cloud in a jar in action!
What do you think of our cloud in a jar?