Creating rain in a jar is a fantastic way for students to learn how it rains. Teachers can use this rain in a jar science experiment during a unit on weather, cloud formation, or just for a fun spring science activity! It is always a hit with kids in preschool and kindergarten.
Getting Rain in a Jar Ready
Setting up this rain in a jar science experiment is very quick and easy. We gathered the following supplies:
- Mason jar full of water
- Shaving cream
- Food coloring
- Plastic pipettes
- Extra water
- Printable worksheet (available below)
I told my kids that we were going to make it rain inside the house. They were so excited!
I sprayed a fluffy layer of shaving cream on top of the water in the jar. It looked just like a soft cloud! My daughter then dropped a few drops of food coloring onto the shaving cream.
I explained that clouds are made of tiny water droplets. When the droplets get big and heavy enough they fall to the earth. If the temperature is above freezing the droplets will fall as rain. If it is colder than freezing they will fall as snow.
We took a few minutes to fill in the first part of her worksheet and to draw a “before” picture. We were ready to make it rain!
Rain in a Jar
I showed my daughter how to fill up a pipette with water. Then we worked together to squirt water onto our shaving cream cloud, making it heavier.
I made sure to have some paper towels on hand since sometimes the water and shaving cream came dripping down the outside of the jar.
We watched as the shaving cream got more and more saturated with water. After a couple of minutes we noticed that the colors were coming down into the water in the jar. It was raining!
Once it started to rain it just kept on going. We even added a little extra food coloring, just for fun.
The Science Behind Rain in a Jar
Clouds are formed when water in the air condenses onto tiny particles of dust. Millions of these droplets group together to form a visible cloud.
However, when those droplets get big and heavy they fall to the ground as rain.
Making a rain cloud in a jar is a simplistic model of how rain is actually formed, but it’s still a valuable hands-on experiment for visual learners. Plus, it’s so much fun they’ll want to do it again and again!
Download your Rain in a Jar Freebie below!
More Science Activities and Ideas
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