Rainy Day Science Experiments

With all the real- life examples we've been having of rain, thunderstorms, and clouds I decided to do a few science demonstrations about weather today.

I had planned to do these same two demonstrations the other day when they watched Popular Mechanics for Kids: Lightening and Other Forces of Nature but we never got around to them.

Both of these ideas are all over Pinterest and most of the time they're both referred to as rain in a jar.

For the first activity:

  •  I heated up some water until it was steaming
  • Them I poured it into a jar until it was 1/3 full 
  • We then covered up the jar with a plate and then after a few minutes started adding ice cubes to the plate. 
 The cold plate causes moisture in the warm air trapped inside the jar to condense and form droplets.  Just like our weather outside!

Rain in a jar
The second activity was more colorful and I saved it for last on purpose.

  • We filled a clear container part way with water (any temperature is fine) and filled the surface of the water with shaving cream.  
  • Using colored water and droppers we dropped color water onto our cloud; eventually the shaving cream gives way and the color rains down.  
For more detailed instructions and an explanation of clouds and how they work check out Steve Spangler's Blog.

The kids love shaving cream and water and with the addition of food coloring I knew they'd have fun doing this over and over again.

colored rain clouds
In between schooling today, boys took breaks and played outside in the rain with their raincoats on.

Playing in the rain
They soon changed into shorts and were getting wet standing in the lake or the dam they were making.  They were singing songs a the top of their lungs and working pretty nicely together to create a whole amusement park, water park and hotel.  They made a slide, a wave pool, a stage and a huge hotel with pool and hot tub.  They have a boat launch too and mini roads for people to travel on.  I was told it will only cost $2 a person for the day until the taxes go up and then they'll be forced to charge $3 each.

They were enjoying the fresh air, learning about nature and weather first hand all while working together to create something truly wonderful.

They switched to shorts so they could really get into their work

The stage is in front of the bulldozer

The hotel is the hump with the tunnel; the hot tub is in front w/ the pool in back and a loooong grey pipe is the slide

A close up of the pool & hotel

The start of the wave pool; a wedge shaped hole in the ground

The boys wanted to go swimming and while I thought they were nuts I agreed to watch them.

Within moments of starting to swim the rain started up again.  We could hear it, like a waterfall moving toward us across the lake.

That was pretty neat to see and hear.


  1. Great ideas. We're a fan of Steve Spangler's demonstrations too. You could use his material for most of your science topics.

    1. Yeah, he is great. We've used a few of his books and many of his ideas.


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