Today’s STEAM Activity is making rain clouds in a jar! My son gives us a weather report everyday. And because of how much my kids enjoyed the fireworks in a jar activity last week, I knew they would love this one too. I’ve seen this done on many other blogs, and I’m glad we finally had the chance to try it ourselves.

MATERIALS:

  • Jar or tall clear glass cup
  • Water
  • Shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Dropper (this can be anything from a pipette to a medicine dropper, just use what you have on hand)
  • Small bowl

PROCEDURE:

  1. Fill the jar ~3/4 full with water 
  2. In the small bowl, mix ~5-10 drops food coloring with a little water 
  3. Squirt shaving cream on top of the water in the jar, making the “clouds”
  4. Use your dropper to pick up the colored water and squirt it into the shaving cream
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

5. Wait for the color to make its way through the shaving cream and into the water below. It will start to slowly release from the shaving cream like rain from a cloud. 
6. Allow your kids to continue to observe and play. My kids continued to add more colors to their clouds, and my daughter eventually decided to play with the shaving cream. It became a mess, but she’s learning about new products and textures and it was fun so I didn’t mind the clean up. 

Step 5
Step 6, now he’s adding ALL the colors
Step 6, playing with the shaving cream

STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:

  • Science – this is a great opportunity for a weather lesson. Clouds collect water droplets from the air. As it collects more and more droplets they eventually become too heavy for the cloud to hold in the air, and gravity causes them to fall to the ground as rain drops. Similarly, in this experiment we’re saturating the shaving cream with the colored water. When the colored water makes its way through the shaving cream with the help of gravity, the colored water is released it into the jar of water below. 

Let me know if you try this experiment with your kids and how it compares to the fireworks in a jar!

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