Science experiments for kids can be super complicated. Just the other day, we did a full-blown energy efficiency experiment with control groups, recording, measuring, variations, and the whole nine yards. That was really cool, but, we don’t always have time for such complicated and involved science lessons and STEM activities.
Little kids, too, love discovering science and experimenting but they’re not ready for complicated projects.
If you’ve ever had a kid ask you how rain works, you can show them easily with this rain in a jar rain cloud science experiment! It’s the perfect addition to your spring STEM activities! Make a raining rainbow right at home!
The raining rainbow cloud in a jar (our version was a hurricane!), shows kids how clouds hold on to moisture until it gets too heavy, then, it releases it all in a big gush of rain!
This experiment fits in perfectly with our other St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities.
This activity is one of our favorite technology activities for kids!
Rain Cloud in a Jar Experiment
Find out how to make your own raining rainbow below.
This project is appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers (as long as they don’t try to eat the shaving cream).
Rain in a Jar Experiment Science
Shaving cream represents clouds in the air. The water represents the air that we breathe and the atmosphere. The colored rainbow water represents rain.
Just like a real cloud, when the shaving cream “cloud” gets too full of colored water, it “rains” the liquid down into the jar just like real clouds rain water back down to earth.
What you’ll need for the rainbow rain experiment:
If you’re in a rush, these are our favorite weather science kits.
- Shaving cream
- Mason jar
- Food coloring in as many rainbow colors as you can find (we found red, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
Doing the Rainbow Rain Experiment
Don’t make the shaving cream layer too thick if you have impatient kids or they will get bored before the liquid travels all the way through the shaving cream.
Drop the food coloring on the surface of the cloud in a rainbow pattern. We wanted to see if we could actually get the clouds to rain a rainbow shape, but that didn’t quite work out.
But we were left with some pretty, swirly colors!
Keep adding colors a bit at a time until your whole jar is a hurricane of swirling color.
Watch our rain cloud experiment in action!