Three Simple Weather Experiments in a Jar

© Viacheslav Silantev | Dreamstime.com

Activities for Kids: 3 Simple Weather Experiments in a Jar

Jars aren’t just for jam
Three Simple Weather Experiments in a Jar

© Viacheslav Silantev | Dreamstime.com

Weather is something you see every day but likely rarely give a second thought to. There are countless weather myths and folkloric weather proverbs that cloud our understanding of the skies above and all that rains from them. To better educate yourself and any children in your life, consider these simple, fun and hands-on experiments you can do at home contained within a single mason jar. 

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Portable cloud

For this, you will need a rubber glove, matches and a gallon-sized jar. Pour 100 ml of cold water into the jar and swish it around the jar’s sides. Then, put a rubber glove on one hand and light two matches. Wait a second for the matches to smoke, then drop them into the jar. Insert your gloved hand into the jar and fold the excess glove fabric over the rim. Pull your hand up and down in the jar. As you lift your hand, the volume in the jar increases while pressure and temperature decrease. This causes the water vapor to condense onto the smoke particles, forming a cloud. 

Water cycle in a jar

Demonstrate the complete water cycle in a jar. Grab a glass jar, a ceramic plate, four ice cubes and hot water. First, pour 2 inches of hot water into the jar. Then, cover the jar with the ceramic plate face up. Take a three-minute pause before putting the four ice cubes on top of the plate. The cold plate will cause the moisture from the warm air inside the jar to condense into water droplets. Try testing different plate materials or water temperatures and have children hypothesize which they believe will work best. 

Snowstorm in a jar

Lastly, gather baby oil, white paint, blue food coloring, glitter, Alka-Seltzer and a mason jar for a pocket-sized snowstorm. Fill the jar three-fourths of the way with baby oil, then add glitter and food coloring. In a separate container, mix water and a few tablespoons white paint and add the mixture to the jar. Finally, drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet inside and watch as the snow falls.

Related

These are just three of many simple weather activities to do with your kids.