Ever look up into the sky and wonder how clouds form? Or have you ever flown through the clouds in a plane and thought how cool is this? Weather activities like this cloud in a jar can be so fun and simple and spark curiosity in kids. We have plenty of simple science experiments with a weather theme for all year round as well as spring STEM!

HOW TO MAKE A CLOUD IN A JAR

CLOUD IN A JAR ACTIVITY

Get ready to add this simple cloud in a jar activity to your weather science lesson plans this season. If you want to learn all about how clouds are formed, let’s dig in.  While you’re at it, make sure to check out these other fun weather activities for kids.

Our science activities and experiments are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind!  Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun!  Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!

HOW TO MAKE A CLOUD IN A JAR

Let’s get right to our cloud in a jar for great spring weather science. Grab a few simple supplies from around the house and be prepared to amaze your kids.

This cloud science experiment asks the question:  How does a cloud form?

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YOU WILL NEED:

  • Warm water
  • Jar with a lid
  • Ice cubes
  • Aerosol hairspray

CLOUD IN A JAR DIRECTIONS:

STEP 1: Pour warm water (not boiling) into the jar and swirl it around to warm the inside of the whole jar.

STEP 2: Turn the lid upside down and place several ice cubes on top of it. Place the lid onto the jar.

STEP 3: Quickly remove the lid and give a quick spray of aerosol hairspray. Replace the lid.

STEP 4: Remove the lid and watch the cloud escape!

MAKING CLOUDS IN THE CLASSROOM

The water does not need to be boiling and it’s actually best if it isn’t because it will fog up the jar too quickly. You might choose to do this near an area where you can have a dark, bright surface for the kids to better view their clouds.

This could easily be a fun partner science activity too!

Why not test what happens when you add cold water to the jar instead of hot water.  This will help kids to better understand why both warm air and cool air are needed to form the cloud!

HOW ARE CLOUDS FORMED?

Three things are needed to make a cloud.  First, you need warm moist air. Next, you need a cooling process. Lastly, you need a cloud condensation nucleus or something to start the cloud. An example of this could be a dust particle!

By pouring warm water into a jar and trapping it, you create the first step which is warm, moist air. This warm air rises and meets with the cool air at the top of the jar which is made by the ice cubes.

The aerosol hairspray provides the cloud condensation nuclei. As the water vapor inside the jar cools down, it begins to form around the hairspray nuclei into many droplets. When you remove the lid, the swirling cloud is released!

This is a great example of phase changes! Check out more states of matter experiments!

CHECK OUT MORE FUN WEATHER ACTIVITIES

MAKE A CLOUD IN A JAR FOR FUN WEATHER SCIENCE FOR KIDS!

Click on the link or on the image below for more awesome weather activities for preschool.

weather activities for preschool

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3 Comments

  1. Would it still work without the hairspray? We do not use aerosol products in our house. We will experiment and let you know!

  2. Hi Kim,

    It needs something like the hairspray in order to capture the particles and help to form the nucleus, but you might be able to research a substitute!

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