This rain cloud investigation is a weather science experiment that gives young children a chance to explore clouds and rain in a hands-on and engaging way!
If you are looking for a simple and easy science activity to do with your kiddos while exploring various weather phenomena this year, then this is going to be perfect for you.
What You Will Need:
- small vases or even mason jars
- shaving cream
- liquid food colouring
- a small cup to mix the coloured ‘rainwater’
Setting up the investigation:
Before you even begin the investigation with your students it will be super handy if you can do the following:
- In a small cup, mix the food colouring with some water.
- Fill each vase or jar with water until it is about 3/4 full.
- Place the jar and the cups of coloured water on each table ready for use. Place an eye dropper in each cup of coloured water.
- Right before your kiddos are ready to do the experiment, spray a bunch of shaving cream in the jar until it is just a small bit above the top of the jar.
Doing the investigation:
Before you begin any investigation make sure the expectations of behaviour are clear! You can use our Science Group Posters and Badges to help with this if you like
Once the expectations are clear, ask your kiddos to pick up some coloured water with an eye dropper and squirt it on top of the shaving cream cloud. Repeat this step one or two more times, but pay close attention to what is happening below the cloud!
The coloured water will begin to seep down through the shaving cream and into the water below. Just like rain!
Allow your students to keep adding ‘rainwater’ to your cloud and watch the storm take shape!
This rain cloud model is an easy weather activity and a great way to show how clouds hold water until they can no longer hold it and then it rains!
The shaving cream is a picture of a cloud, which isn’t really light and fluffy like we imagine. Instead, clouds form from water vapor (think of steam coming from a kettle) coming together in the atmosphere.
Adding drops to the shaving cream is like more water vapor coming together in a cloud. In the atmosphere when water vapor cools, it turns into liquid water, the rain cloud becomes heavy and it rains. In a similar way, our drops of coloured water make the rain cloud “heavy” and it rains!
I look forward to seeing photos of your foam cload investigations in action! Send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in teaching,