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Make a Storm in a Jar with Your Prescholer

Rain, rain, go away...

Not today!

In this project inspired by Growing a Jeweled Rose, you and your preschooler can make it rain inside with a captivating and colorful storm in a jar. Here's some insight about this activity from Elyse Handel, Early Childhood Educator at The Children’s Museum:

This is a fun science activity that can begin the conversation about the water cycle. For a follow-up activity, give How to Make a Water Cycle in a Bag a try. 

Materials

  • Glass jar
  • Shaving cream
  • Glow in the dark paint (or neon paint)
  • Water
  • Eye droppers(or pipettes)
  • Bowls
  • Spoon
  • Black light (optional)

What to do

1. Combine 1 teaspoon of glowing paint with ½ cup of warm water in a bowl—use one bowl for each color of “rain” and “lightning” you plan to use. Tip from Elyse: food coloring is a good alternative to glowing paint because it is super pigmented. Liquid watercolor will also work. 

2. Stir until paint is dissolved.

3. Set paint mixtures aside.

4. Fill glass jar ⅔ full with cool water. 

5. Use shaving cream to make a “cloud” on top of the water in the jar.

6. Fill eye droppers with paint mixture—one color per dropper.

7. Take turns squeezing colored paint mixture into the shaving cream cloud. As you add color, the cloud will begin to swell. Once the cloud is full, it will start to “rain” into the jar.

8. When the colors start falling into the cool water, swirl the jar to make a storm inside your glass jar.

9. Optional: turn off the lights and hold a black light near your storm. Does it look different?

Looking for more preschool projects and activities?

We've brought together some fun and creative activities for you to do with your preschool-age child. Check them out!

You can see all of our at-home activities on the blog or on Pinterest.