To make our rain cloud in a jar we gathered a few simple items:
- Food coloring
- A clear jar
- Shaving cream
- Plastic pipettes
First, we mixed a few drops of food coloring into some water and set it aside. This was our “rain”.
My preschooler loved making rain so much that we ended up repeating this activity several times with blue, yellow, purple, red, and green food coloring.
I filled our glass jar about 3/4 of the way full with cool water.
Once we made a fluffy “cloud” on top of the water using shaving cream we were ready to get to the fun part: making it rain!
Rain Cloud in a Jar
I instructed my preschooler to suck up some of the colored water into her pipette and then gently squirt it on top of our shaving cream cloud. She quickly became a pro.
As she squirted more and more water onto the shaving cream, our cloud became heavier and heavier.
Within a few minutes, the first drops of colored rain made their way through the cloud and dropped into the water underneath.
There were cheers of excitement and lots of jumping up and down as we watched the colored water drop down through the clouds!
We continued to saturate the shaving cream clouds with water until they started to deflate and melt down the side of the jar.
My daughter had so much fun, we rinsed out the jar and started all over again with a new rain color!
Rain Cloud Science
Clouds are formed when water vapor rises into the air and condenses onto tiny particles of dust. When billions of these droplets come together, a visible cloud forms.
Over time, the droplets and crystals that make up a cloud can attract more water to themselves.
When water droplets grow heavy enough, gravity pulls them down as raindrops.
Making a rain cloud in a jar is obviously a simplistic model of how it actually rains, but it gives young children a hands-on visual that is extremely valuable to their learning. Plus, it’s fun!
Weather Activity Pack
Continue the hands-on learning with our Weather Activity Pack!