Storm in a Jar Experiment

KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
Making a rain cloud in a jar is a great experiment for kids that teaches them about the
weather.
 My girls loved the original experiment so much that I sought to recreate it with a fun twist.  My girls were so excited to revisit the experiment, and the results were pretty amazing!
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
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Explore science in a fun way and make a storm in a jar.  Begin by reading books about storm clouds and how they form.  Then, move on to the fun science!

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Materials
Note:  For best results you will want to use a black light.  You can use a black light fixture or a black light flashlight; both work great!  My kids personally love using the flashlights.  

Preparing for the Experiment
Before beginning the experiment discuss rain clouds and how they form.  Talk about weather systems, storms, thunder, and tornadoes.  You can find a great collection of weather related books at the bottom of this post.  We read these books each night the week before conducting our experiment. 

Setting up the Experiment
Set up for this experiment is pretty simple.  To make your "glowing rain" add a tiny amount of glowing paint to a cup.  Fill the cup with warm water and stir until the paint dissolves.  Repeat the above steps for each color of glowing "rain" and "lightning" that you wish to make. 
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
Rosie wanted to make an extreme thunder storm, and we found that we were able to best get that effect by using a variety of colors of glowing rain.

Next, fill a jar 3/4 of the way with water, and then form a cloud on top of the water using shaving cream.
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
That's it!  Now, grab your pipettes, and the experiment can begin!

The Experiment
Clouds slowly fill with moisture from the air.  When they fill with enough moisture they become over-saturated, and it rains.  The idea behind this experiment is to visually illustrate that by filling your shaving cream cloud with moisture until the cloud gets so heavy that it rains.
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!

The Process
Have kids fill their pipettes with the glowing rain colors and then squeeze them into the shaving cream cloud.
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
It helps to have kids place the pipettes inside the shaving cream cloud each time they go to add more rain.  At first you will notice the cloud swelling with the liquid.
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
Once the cloud fills with enough moisture it will begin to "rain"
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
Soon enough the rain was swirling and mixing inside the jar, creating the most spectacular rain storm!
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
Once the cloud got really over-saturated huge amounts of rain came down at once, almost looking like a tornado.  Then, came the green rain swirling around the orange
KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
The effects were so neat!  Jewel said the green rain looked like thunder.  And you know what?  If you could see thunder I bet that would be what it would look like!  

This storm in a jar experiment was so fun, and the girls learned a lot about weather, rain, and storms by visually making their own storm.


Books about storms for kids:
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Other Activities
to try:

A beautiful Science experiment & a yummy treat all in one. My kids loved checking on their jars each day to see if the rock candy had grown!
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KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar.  I can't wait to try this!
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COOL KID SCIENCE:  Make a storm in a jar!

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