Cloud Jars

Apr 14, 2012

"Cloud Jars."  We've seen them around and they seemed so appealing that we just had to try them for ourselves!

We used this activity to practice fine motor skills, focus and coordination, all while learning the very basic concept of how clouds hold water and when they become too heavy it starts to rain.

I'm not sure I've ever come across another activity that demonstrates this in such a fun, easy and spectacular way.

 You'll need coloured water, a clear jar/glass/vase with water in it, shaving foam and an eyedropper/pipette

 Squirt shaving cream on top of the water. Talk about how the shaving cream is a "cloud" and that they are going to be filling it with water to see what happens.

 Using fine motor skills, focus and coordination to transfer the coloured water from one vessel to the other

 It takes a little while for anything to start happening but she was too busy having fun colouring the shaving foam to realise

 Oh boy. Look what's happening!

 It is "raining!" The "cloud" got too heavy and couldn't hold the water any more

Watching the colours swirl and form other colours and patterns in the water was fascinating. Eventually the water will become too discoloured to see the "rain" falling. If they want more, just empty the container and repeat.

Some tips:

- Before experimenting with the "cloud jars," have your child practice and get used to water transfer using an eyedropper with this Colour Discovery Water Transfer activity

- Extend this activity by writing it up as a scientific experiment or by making a hypothesis etc. Children could  draw pictures of the stages of the experiment or write about what happened.

- Ask your child questions to help connect their understanding and use vocabulary to give them words to describe what they're creating, such as, "You are putting the coloured water on the cloud. What do you think is going to happen?"

- Talk with your child about what they are doing. This will help them understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as giving them the vocabulary to describe it.

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "transfer" This will help with their language development.

- If you have coloured water left, you could try experimenting with absorption and colour patterns

- We first saw this activity here on Teach Preschool :)

We love Science Activities 

Here's another 2 you might like

Water Bottle Fountain                         Colour Discovery Water Transfer

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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  1. Cloud jars are so fun! Fantastic photos!

    1. Thanks! They are fabulous. Something we'll be repeating for sure :)

  2. Thanks for this activity Debs, my little one loved it!! We then used the coloured shaving foam to paint with - it makes lovely rainbow colours.

    1. You're welcome Sue :) Funny you should say that because we ended up doing a similar thing with the shaving cream at the end of the activity. I didn't get any photos though as I just like to let her do her own thing with no cameras around some time! lol. Thanks for the comment. Debs :)

  3. This has made it planning for tomorrow! So excited. Don't have pipettes though so hoping spoons will work!

  4. We did this, with pipettes. AWESOME!!!

    1. Oh yay, so glad you liked it, Sarah! And good job finding the pipettes. They're not essential for it to work, but they are fun and the water transfer is a good process for them too. :D

  5. I LOVE this activity!! We cannot use chave cream in my classroom...any substitution ideas?

    1. hmm, the only thing I can think of Carolyn would be the whipped cream in a can. However, I'd try it out first before giving it to kids in the classroom. Hopefully the fat in the cream would keep it sitting on the water. Some may dissolve into it over time unlike shaving cream but I imagine that it could work fine for the time you need it. Test it first though, lol... don't want to disappoint any kids :D

    2. By the way, I've talked to a few other bloggers who've done this experiment, one who's tried it with whipped cream and they've said it does dissolve reasonably quickly. They've suggested possibly using chilled water to try and combat this. Just a thought... is it possible to go to your leadership and demonstrate the process and how the shaving cream is used (no children need to touch it) and see if they could give you a pass to use it this one time?... Good luck with it and let me know how it goes :)

  6. This is such a fun learning activity! I just wanted to let you know that I am linking to this post at Simply Creative Kids on 4/25 if you don't mind.

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