Storms intrigue all of us. The sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of rainy weather can be a true scientific wonder. Kids often have questions about the rain and why it happens. Here’s a very simple experiment to do with kids, simulating rain clouds, moisture, and the atmosphere.
You will need:
- Inexpensive shaving cream
- Tap water with little mixing bowls
- Food coloring
- Several clear containers of various sizes
- A dropper
First, mix up about 10-15 drops of food coloring with about a quarter cup of water. Be sure to stir it up.
Grab one of your clear containers and fill it with warm tap water, about three quarters full. Take the shaving cream – this is the big hit with the kids – and create a dense mound of it on top, simulating a cloud. Yes, you want the shaving cream touching the water. The water is acting like the Earth’s warm, wet atmosphere, similar to conditions when it rains.
Using your dropper, extract up some of your food coloring/water solution, and begin to drop over the shaving cream cloud.
After a few drops, your child will notice that not much is happening. But as you begin to add more and more drops, the “cloud” becomes saturated. This is the same phenomenon that makes rain clouds occur – when water droplets become heavy enough in a cloud, they fall. Looks like a brewing storm from below!
Experiment with different colors, as well as different shaped containers.
What about different colors all the same container? The same results, just a bit more muddled!
Lastly, try adding shaving cream atop water that is already colored. You’ll get a beautiful mix. Creating a rainstorm in a jar will keep kids fascinated, but more importantly, asking great questions about weather!
Learning is Where We Play: