This rain cloud in a jar experiment is a great hands-on way to teach young children about clouds and rain. If you are looking for a fun and simple learning activity to do with your children, this one is a must!
What You’ll Need
- Printable recording sheets (button to download at the bottom of the post)
- A large jar (I used a plastic one like this)
- Shaving cream (not a gel version)
- Gel Food coloring or washable watercolors
- Pipettes or droppers
Setting Up the Experiment
- In a small cup, mix the food coloring with some water.
- Fill the large jar with water until it is about 3/4 full.
- Place the jar and the cups of colored water on the table. Place a pipette in each cup of colored water.
- Right before the kids are ready to do the experiment, spray a bunch of shaving cream in the jar until it is just a small bit above the top of the jar.
Performing the Experiment
Ask the kids to pick up some colored water with a pipette and squirt it on top of the shaving cream cloud. Repeat this step one or two more times, but pay close attention to what is happening below the cloud! The colored water will begin to seep down through the shaving cream and into the water below. Just like rain!
How It Works
The shaving cream represents the clouds and the water represents the air. The colored water represents rain. As the colored water saturates the “cloud”, it gets heavy and eventually is so heavy that it can no longer hold the water. It “rains” down into the jar – through the “air.” It is just like real rain falls through the air.