Cloud in a Jar

Cloud in a Jar Activity

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See more activities in: Second Grade, Earth & Space Science

Has your child ever wondered what forces of nature cause clouds to form and rain to fall? Why not create your own cloud with an activity that will explain how important concepts such as evaporation, condensation, and precipitation work.

What You Need:

  • Empty jar with lid
  • Water
  • Mug
  • Pen
  • Strainer
  • Freezer
  • Ice
  • Microwave
  • Towel
  • Spoon
  • Blue food coloring (optional)
  • Ice mold (optional)

What You Do:

  1. If you have time beforehand, use water, blue food coloring, and an ice mold to create some blue ice cubes.
  2. Hand your child an empty jar and help her remove its label.
  3. Wash the jar out with soap and water until it is as clean as you can get it.
  4. Use a towel to dry the jar off before setting it to the side.
  5. Instruct your child to carefully fill a mug with water.
  6. Place the mug of water into the microwave for at least two minutes to heat the water up. You could boil water instead if you feel this would be easier.
  7. As the water is heating up, place a strainer into the freezer until needed.
  8. Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and have your child pour the water into the empty jar.
  9. Add a drop of blue food coloring to the water and have your child stir it in with a spoon.
  10. Place the lid back over the top and allow the warm air to rise to the top for a minute or so.
  11. Remove the strainer from the freezer and carefully place it over the top of the jar in place of the lid.
  12. Help your child gather some ice and place it into the strainer to keep the top half cold.
  13. Allow the moisture inside the jar some time to condense, thus creating a rain effect. As time goes on, not only will the condensed moisture create the appearance of rain but the melting ice will add a dripping effect.

To wrap the activity up, have your child draw the steps of the water cycle.

Updated on Jan 22, 2014
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