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Kids STEM ActivitiesNovember 22nd 2018

Storm in a bowl

Simulate a rain cloud with this easy STEM activity

We are kicking off another series of free kids STEM based activities – fortnightly activities you can do at home with your under 5 using things found around the home. This morning rain clouds were lingering as Miss 2.5 and I were in the car and she asked – how does it rain?

How to make a storm in a jar science experiment for kids

So this is an activity I created to show her what happens after the clouds are heavy and that moment when they are too full that it begins to rain – I could see Tessa the Teacher doing this with her class!

The science

A cloud is formed when water vapour condenses into water droplets that attach to particles like dust or pollen in the air. When billions of these water droplets join together, they form a cloud (we will do another activity to explain how this happens later in the month). Over time, the droplets and crystals that make up a cloud can attract more water to themselves and when the water droplets grow heavy enough, gravity pulls them down as raindrops.

Lets make some clouds in a jar or in our case, storm in a bowl!

You will need:

  • Shaving Cream
  • Coloured dye – we used blue
  • Dropper
  • Glass bowl or large jar
  • Water

Step 1.  Fill bowl or jar 2/3 full of cold water and then add shaving cream to the top

Step 2. Using a dropper slowly add coloured dye to the top of the shaving cream.  Avoid adding too much at once as it will ‘fall’ through the clouds too quickly, instead give it time to soak up the colour

Questions to ponder

  • What happens if you add the dye quickly? why?
  • What would happen if we used a smaller or bigger container?

These kids STEM activities can be used to promote:

Language skills: asking questions and inquiry, discussing procedural elements of the task, counting the drops of food colour

Social skills: Sharing ideas, working with a partner,, turn taking

Fine motor skills: manipulating materials, hand strength to use the shaving foam, pincher grip for dropper

Please don’t forget to share your creations on social media using the hashtag #inspiredbyokdolls


Printables are for home and educator/classroom use.

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