Weather Science for Kids
This year we've had more rain than I ever remember getting. We need the rain, so it has been a blessing. My older two boys have asked me a few questions about the rain and what makes it rain. I always do my best to explain in clear, simple words, and I'm always met with the same question, "But how does it rain?" Clearly my explanations are not doing the trick. I set up a simple science demo to demonstrate rain.
How to Make Rain in a Jar
I boiled water in the tea kettle then added 2-3 inches to the glass jar, instructing JZ (5) and J-Bug (3) not to touch the jar. We put the paper plate on top of the jar of hot water and let it sit for a few minutes.
After a few minutes JZ helped me get ice from the freezer. The boys added the ice to the paper plate.
J-Bug liked putting the ice in one at a time, but JZ decided it would be quicker to just pour all the ice into the plate.
Then we observed.
How does this answer the question how does it rain?
The plate seals in the warm air in the jar. Once the ice is added to the plate the cold temperature causes the moisture in the jar to condense and form water droplets. This is the same thing that happens in the atmosphere as warm, moist air rises and meets colder temperatures high in the atmosphere. Water vapor condenses and forms precipitation that falls to the Earth as rain, sleet, hail, or snow. It was fun explaining the last part to JZ, because we actually had some hail a couple weeks ago!
It was impossible for me to catch rain droplets on film, but I promise they were there. This science experiment for kids was so easy. The set up and clean up were quick, and my boys love watching the water drop down like rain. Why not surprise your kids by demonstrating how it rains? They will love it!
Please note my children were supervised the entire time. The water in the jar is very hot.
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