Have you ever wanted to play with the clouds? This fun rain cloud in jar science experiment will give you and your children the chance to do just that — at least in part.
These shaving cream rain clouds will get your children excited about weather science and leave them wanting more! This is the perfect introduction or conclusion to your science unit on weather, storms, the water cycle, or ecosystems.
>> See the other weather activities for kids here.
This rain cloud in a jar experiment is super simple and super easy. And the result is amazing! So it will capture the attention of both younger and older children. So before we go into how to make a rain cloud in a jar, let’s go over some resources you may want, to take advantage of your children’s new interest in weather.
As much as thunderstorms might be a little scary, rain can be soothing and fascinating. There’s nothing like a good rain shower to clean out the air and make the world feel clean and new again. Get up close and personal with a cloudburst with these shaving cream rain clouds! Let’s get started.
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Recommended Weather Books for Kids
There’s nothing like a good book to help kids learn. And these are some of our favorites for teaching about weather and rain. Follow along with National Geographic’s fantastic lineup of education books for kids, or try one of the cute stories on rainy weather, rainbows, and having fun in the rain. What will be on your list today?
Worm Weather (Penguin Core Concepts)Rain Boy: (Kindness Books for Kids and Children, Teaching Empathy, Inclusion, and Diversity)Singing in the RainNational Geographic Readers: WeatherNational Geographic Kids Ultimate Weatherpedia: The most complete weather reference everNational Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Weather (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)
Recommended Educational Weather Kits
If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to teach your kids about the weather, these toys are perfect for that purpose! Get one of these hands-on and engaging activity kits for your kids and see for yourself that they will love it!
My First Daily Magnetic CalendarBe Amazing! Toys Weather Science Lab4M Weather Station Kit – Climate Change, Global Warming LabSmartLab Toys Storm Watcher Weather LabUnique Kids STEAM Powered Weather StationNUOBESTY Wind Vane
Supplies for Rain Cloud Experiment
You’ll need a large jar for this experiment. We like mason jars, but an old spaghetti sauce or cheese spread jar would work just fine. For best results, get a quart-size or bigger jar.
You’ll also need some shaving cream and, of course, blue food coloring.
How to Make a Rain Cloud in a Jar
Ready to create the rain cloud in a jar science experiment? Let’s get started!
This experiment is actually easy to do. First, fill your jar with water, leaving only about an inch between the surface of the water and the edge of the jar.
Then spray some of the shaving foam onto the top. You’ll want enough to stick up above the jar.
Then comes the fun part. Let your kids drip some food coloring directly onto the shaving cream and watch what happens!
Watch as the magic happens for 5 minutes. Have fun with your shaving cream rain clouds!
How Clouds Make Rain
Much like our experimental shaving cream floating on the water, clouds float in the atmosphere. Clouds are, essentially, made of vaporized water droplets that have collected together, with tiny particles of dust. The water condenses slightly around the dust, and those tiny droplets stick together.
Clouds are pretty much steam or fog banks, up in the sky where they belong. So no, unfortunately, you can’t walk, sit or lay down on a cloud, no matter how fluffy it looks.
Clouds attract more and more water, which condenses and collects inside the cloud. As it condenses, it sticks together and forms bigger droplets. Eventually, those droplets become too heavy to stay floating in the air, and they fall to the earth in rain, snow, sleet, hail, ice pellets, or other precipitation.
In our experiment, the food coloring is heavier than the shaving cream. So it seeps through the cream and “falls” into the water the shaving cream is floating on. The color looks like “rain” droplets and creates interesting patterns as more food coloring drips into the water.
- 1-quart sized jar
- Enough water to fill the jar
- Foam shaving cream
- Blue food coloring
- Fill up the jar with water, but leave about an inch of space at the top
- Fill in the space you left with a layer of shaving cream. Don't add too thick a layer, or the food coloring won't make it through quickly.
- Drop several drops of food coloring onto the shaving cream.
- Sit back and watch the food coloring release into the water!
- Observe the water for about 5 minutes to see the changes taking place.
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With just a few simple materials and a little bit of water, kids can have hours of fun experimenting and creating rain clouds that appear almost magically at the touch of a button.
Not only is this experiment educational, but it’s also an engaging way for kids to learn about physical phenomena in a safe environment. It’s a perfect activity for curious minds who want to explore science!
If you’re looking for fun spring activities that elementary students will love, this Spring Activities for Elementary Students is the perfect list.
More Weather Activities
These sensory activities are perfect for little learners who are learning about the different types of weather.
Do you want a more fun and engaging approach? Try these weather STEM activities!
Simple Weather Science Experiments for Kids by STEAMsational
Weather Popsicle Stick Craft by Homeschool Preschool