Storm in a Jar

This experiment is a fun way to create our own rain clouds and learn about the water cycle! Today I am sharing this “Storm in a Jar” activity that glows in the dark.


·      A glass or jar

·      Shaving cream

·      Glow in the dark sticks

·      Water

·      Pipettes

·      Cups or bowls

Before starting the activity, talk with your child about rain clouds, and how they form through the water cycle. Point out that the rain that has fallen where you live, may have been water in the ocean just a couple of days before!

Review the water cycle using this link below:

Key words to review:

  • condensation- water that collects as droplets (makes clouds)
  • evaporation-  when water heats up and changes from a liquid to a gas
  • precipitation- rain, snow, sleet, hail

You can even teach your child my favorite water cycle song.  It goes to the same tune as 'Coming Around the Mountain'

Water travels in a cycle yes it does,

Water travels in a cycle yes it does,

It goes up as evaporation,

Forms clouds as condensation,

Comes down as precipitation yes it does,

Yes it does!!

Links for song:

Setting up the Experiment

·      Fill a jar 3/4 of the way with warm water, and then form a cloud on top of the water with shaving cream. It will float!

The Process

·      Have kids fill their pipettes with the glowing rain colors and then squeeze them into the shaving cream cloud (place the pipettes inside the cream cloud each time they go in order to add more rain)

·      At first, you will notice the cloud swelling with the liquid then once the cloud fills with enough moisture it will begin to “rain.”

·      The rain will now swirl and mix inside the jar creating a rain storm!

For more on Storm in a Jar

Check here for more information on weather systems

If you need a refresher on the water cycle watch this video

This is a good breakdown on how rain is formed

Tag @themodernteacher and show off your homemade storms!

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