Activity Time: Cloud In A Jar

The rainy weather this last weekend had me thinking about how clouds work.  What do you think clouds are made of?

Clouds are made up of tiny water droplets. These droplets bounce around in the cloud and often collide and merge with each other.  Once the droplets are too big, they fall from the cloud.  

In this activity, we are going to make a cloud with shaving cream and add more water droplets made of food coloring. As we add those droplets, we will be able to see them fall from the cloud like rain! This activity has the potential to get a little messy.  I recommend doing this in a tray or just take it outside!

Supplies needed:

  • Large clear jar
  • Water
  • Shaving cream
  • Food color (Make sure to read the note below!)
  • Optional: A small dropper (a straw or spoon will work as well)

A quick note about food coloring:  If you have liquid food colors you can squeeze right out of the container. If you have gel food colors like me, you’ll need to dilute in water. My first test I diluted it too much, and did not get color drops as expected. Next time I used only a little bit of water and it worked much better. 

Let’s start! Fill your jar with water up to about 2 inches below the top.

Loosely add the shaving cream on top of the water.

Begin slowly adding drops of food coloring into the shaving cream.  It may take quite a few drops for the shaving cream cloud to be saturated with enough “water” before the rain starts to drop from the cloud.

Slowly keep adding more food coloring until you see the raindrops come through the cloud.

For fun, add more colors and see them mix in the water.

I hope you had fun with this activity. 

What color rain did you make?


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