Cloud in a Jar

A few weeks ago I was doing a unit on weather with the boys. I made a daring trip to the community library (with a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 3-week-old baby! Am I crazy? At times…) and we picked out some children’s books on the subject.

At home, the boys were given the opportunity to learn about the three states of water (liquid, solid, gas) hands-on with some simple experiments.  We froze water in an ice cube tray in the freezer, and then melted the cubes in a sauce pan on the stove (with adult supervision of course!) until the water disappeared as steam. It was great to see their little minds churning and the excitement on their faces as they watched the transition from solid to liquid to gas!

We then learned about the water cycle and the three big words associated with it: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation. Little kids aren’t afraid of big words, so I teach them these words and try to explain the concepts as best I can.

We then studied clouds, and Justin and Patrick were taught the names of the clouds and learned which clouds are responsible for rain and storms.

As part of all this, we did a little activity I found online called “Cloud in a Jar.”

First I half-filled a big glass jar with water, and then I put a layer of shaving cream on top of the water as the “cloud.”

The boys then added blue food colouring on top of the cloud until the “rain” became too heavy for it…

In addition to this activity, I made some simple weather fridge magnets for the boys to chart the weather with, and converted a plastic flowerpot into a “rain gauge.” Ryan took the boys into the garage and made a weathervane with them too. 🙂




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