Sanity Savers: Cloud in a Jar

Sponsored by: M&T Bank

Written by Will Kawalec
Lead Play to Learn Facilitator

This lesson gives your child the opportunity to create their very own cloud!  This activity is fun for both adults and children and can provide an awesome activity that children will marvel at.  While doing this activity caregivers can teach their children about clouds and how condensation and rain happens.  Feel free to incorporate the vocabulary words below!   

Materials:

A jar with a lid
Hot water
Ice cubes
Hairspray 

Length:

Set up: 5 Minutes
Activity 5-20 Minutes  

Academic Subject(s):

Science

A few weeks ago we posted a lesson about making a cloud rain! In that lesson we learned about precipitation in the water cycle. Today we are going to learn about evaporation and condensation by making our own clouds in a jar!  

Directions:

Step 1: Heat up water should be hot but not boiling.  Pour into open jar so it is about 1/3 of the way full, place lid on and shake to warm up jar.  Remove lid again. 
Step 2: Place lid of jar upside down on top of the jar, place as many cubes as you can on the top of the jar. I used the ring of the jar upside down to help hold on extra ice cubes!
Step 3: After about 30 seconds remove the lid and the ice from the jar and add a quick spray of hairspray into the jar.
Step 4: Place the lid back on the jar.
Step 5: Condensation will begin to occur, you will notice this rather quickly, wait a little bit and remove the lid, the escaping air will be an actual cloud!

Vocabulary Words

· Condensation– When water converts from a gas to a liquid.  In the water cycle this is after water has evaporated in the air and begins to collect in the clouds.
· Meteorology– The branch of science that studies the weather.  A meteorologist predicts what weather will happen.
· Precipitation– The condensation falling into the atmosphere. Precipitation in this experiment is rain however, it can also come in the form of snow, ice, sleet or hail.
· Atmosphere – The gasses that surround the earth or another planet. For earth this is the air we breathe every day!
· Water Cycle – This is the process of water circulating between the earth and the atmosphere. There are four basic steps in the water cycle.
1. Collection: examples of collection are oceans, rivers, lakes, streams etc. This is the part of the water cycle with water remains on the earths surface.
2. Evaporation: when water is heated up by the sun and turns into a gas
3. Condensation: When water converts from a gas to a liquid.  In the water cycle this is after water has evaporated in the air and begins to collect in the clouds.
4. Precipitation: The condensation falling into the atmosphere. Precipitation in this experiment is rain however, it can also come in the form of snow, ice, sleet or hail. 

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here!