This easy tornado in a bottle activity is pretty exciting for young kids!  It’s the perfect complement to a weather science unit too. Hands-on learning about tornadoes that is safe!  Make your own tornado in a bottle. Visit our science and STEM page to find tons of hands-on activities for preschool through grade school.

TORNADO IN A BOTTLE ACTIVITY FOR WEATHER SCIENCE!

Tornado bottle weather science and preschool activity for spring STEM

TORNADO IN A BOTTLE

My son actually enjoys checking out the weather and the temperature every day!  We had recently checked out the book, Otis And The Tornado from the library and he inquired about a homemade tornado bottle we had previously made. I wanted to make a quick one with one of our favorite types of science discovery bottles!

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HOW TO MAKE A TORNADO IN A BOTTLE

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Tall Narrow Plastic Bottle (like a VOS water bottle)

Tornado bottle hands on science

HOW TO MAKE A TORNADO

STEP 1:  Simply fill a bottle 3/4 of the way with water and add a drop dish soap. Cover tightly.

STEP 2:  Give the bottle a good shake with a roll of the wrist and watch!

TIPS:  I grabbed a VOS water bottle, plastic, tall and narrow. I emptied and refilled with water and a little squirt of non-concentrated dish soap. You want to swirl the bottle with a  roll of the wrist to get a tornado! 

We felt it was easier to achieve a tornado every time after the soap/water mixture had sat a while.

HOW IS A TORNADO CREATED

Sticking with preschool science, we talked about the funnel cloud that forms, the fast-moving swirling clouds, the hail and thunder, and lighting. We touched briefly on the idea that warm moist, cool air and changing winds form the storms that potentially cause tornadoes.

A tornado is a giant rotating column of air that goes from the thunderstorm down to the ground. Most tornados form from thunderstorms where warm, moist air meets cold, dry air. When hot and cool meet the atmosphere becomes unstable and winds increase.

Spinning or rolling the bottle in a circular motion creates a water vortex that looks like a mini tornado! Other vortexes found in nature include tornadoes, hurricanes, and waterspouts (where a tornado forms over the water instead of land).

He was mostly interested in what people do during a storm and what happens to the trees and buildings. Simple things!

TRY THESE EASY WEATHER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES

FUN TORNADO IN A BOTTLE FOR WEATHER SCIENCE!

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weather activities for preschool

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