Making a rain cloud in a jar is a great way to help kids visualize how rain drops form. It’s an easy science activity you probably already have the supplies for in your kitchen.
How to Make a Rain Cloud in a Jar
- shaving cream
- food coloring or liquid watercolor
- dropper or pipette for liquid watercolors
Start by putting a large dollop of shaving cream on top of a jar of water. Talk to the kids how about how the water droplets rise in the air and condense on dust particles. A huge group of them together is a cloud. Explain that in this demo the shaving cream is the cloud.
Add drops of liquid watercolor or food coloring. Once it gets saturated enough it will start to rain. Just like in a real cloud, once there is enough water droplets gravity pulls them back down to Earth as rain.
We ended up trying this one both liquid watercolors and food coloring. Each had a different thickness so had a little bit of a different effect. The food coloring ran through quicker and the liquid watercolors had more of a rain effect.
Both give kids the cloud cloud visual so use whatever you have on hand, but if you have both it’s fun to experiment to see the difference!
More Science Experiments to Try:
We love doing science experiments and I’m convinced if you don’t it’s just because you haven’t found the right ones yet! Here are some to try with your kids.
- Walking Water Science Experiment
- Make a Rubber Egg
- How to Make Silly Putty
- Exploding Baggie Science Experiment
Don’t let the fun and discovery stop there!
We have TONS of science experiments your kids will love on our Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids page!
Take me to the experiments –> Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids
jo-anne pinkard says
your ideas are clear and interesting. Thank you so much. i have been inspired!
Peggy Ashbrook says
This looks like a fun activity to play around with the density of various materials. It isn’t an accurate model of how water condenses into clouds and falls as rain even though it looks like drops falling. How about using this activity as an exploration of what happens when different kinds of materials are layered or dropped on top of other layers?
I had a student who tried this activity last year. It is great fun and a cool investigation of density but he thought it showed how rain drops actually form. Of course he also thought it should count as an experiment rather than the interesting model it is.
cOREY coLLINS says
This looks like an awesome activity! I think students and children would really benefit from the visualization of rain drops falling from clouds. This would easily be implemented into my classroom! Thanks for the great idea.
Megan Sheakoski says
looking for a project on gravity for a 6th grader any suggestions