This year for our Weather Theme we did the cutest experiment to demonstrate precipitation and I wanted to share it with you. If you google “shaving cream clouds” tons of ideas will come up and I am not sure who first came up with this activity… but here is my version! I tried to make it as kid friendly as possible but teacher friendly too.
First you will need shaving cream (2 cans will be plenty), glass mason jars, water, blue food coloring and eye droppers. I also use these plastic trays from Lakeshore all the time to help contain the mess :0) They are amazing!
To help things run smoothly I got the “water vapor” ready before hand by adding 5 drops of blue food coloring to water. Each student had a plastic tray with a mason jar and eye dropper waiting for them.
The first step was to have the kiddos fill their mason jars with water (about 2 inches left at the top). We talked about how the water is representing the air or atmosphere. Next, each student squirted a shaving cream cloud on the top of the water, mounding up over the top. The shaving cream represents a cloud. We also reviewed that a cloud is a collection of water vapor floating in the atmosphere.
Now here comes the fun part! The kiddos used their eye droppers and added more blue “water vapor” to the cloud one squirt at a time. When the “water vapor” collects in the “cloud” it makes it heavier and heavier until it starts to “rain”!
I loved the looks of concentration of their precious little faces and each student was so excited when they finally saw the rain appearing! So cute!
When I did this experiment with my kiddos, I actually had a parent volunteer run the center with four students at a time. So I made a little “cheat sheet” with directions and explanations for my parent helper that you might find useful. Just click on the picture to download.
I hope you get a chance to try this fun experiment with your kiddos. It was great fun!