Most kids are fascinated by clouds. My kids personally love laying in the grass and creating different animals and objects from the fluffy looking stuff. Although most movies show clouds being solid, clouds are simply water vapor suspended in the atmosphere. When hot and cold air collide, a cloud is made if there is enough moisture in the air. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could create a cloud in a jar?!

Look no further! You can make your very own cloud in a jar experiment by following the steps below. Kids will love how the cloud magically appears. This science activity for kids is the perfect science experiment to do during  a weather unit study.

Rain cloud stem investigation and free printable

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Rain Cloud STEM Investigation:

  • Jar
  • Water
  • Hairspray
  • Ice
  • Blue Food Coloring

Learning About Weather And Clouds:



  • What type of weather can we expect in the summer?
  • What kind of clothes should we wear if it’s raining?
  • How do clouds form?
  • What is your favorite type of weather? Why?

It’s important for kids to learn about weather in order to understand the world (and climate) around them. It also provides kids with opportunities to use descriptive words and classify different types of weather.

The cloud in a jar stem activity can be created as a whole class, in small groups, or individually. Be sure to add in some writing by jotting down what children say before, during, and after the cloud experiment.

In addition to learning about cloud and rain science activities for preschoolers here are some more ideas for what you can teach about using the cloud science experiment:

  • Warm air rising
  • condensed water
  • seasons
  • oral language development
  • fine motor skills
  • cognitive and problem solving

Why Is It Important For Kids To Make a Cloud Experiment?

Besides the fact that kids love science projects, there are so many other reasons you should make the rain cloud experiment with preschool kids.

Develop Cognitive and Problem Solving Skills

Science experiments and projects are a wonderful way to allow your child to show off their creative side and ask questions to solve problems.

Cooperate and Work Together

Exploring and creating hands on science experiments can be a great way to practice social skills and working together with friends. Kids can share materials and take turns figuring out how clouds are formed science project.

Oral Language Development

The glass jar science experiment inspires and encourages children to talk about what’s happening during the project and be introduced to new vocabulary words.

Fine Motor Skills

Adding the materials needed to create the cloud will allow kids to practice using their little fingers and hands.

“They loved this more than Play doh. I was amazed. “

I did this today with my daycare kids. They loved this more than Play doh. I was amazed. With it being too cold to go outside, this was great. Honestly they played for 1.5 hours and probably would of longer, but we had to get lunch ready. Thank you so much for this.

Supplies for rain cloud in a jar experiment: hairspray, mason jar, blue food coloring and water

How To Use This Mason Jar Science Experiment

How to Use the Activity

Clouds are formed when hot air mixes with cold air and creates condensation. You can make this happen inside a jar using these steps.

First, heat water to boiling. Add a few drops of food coloring if you like. We thought it was easier to see the cloud if the water was blue.

Place ice on the top of your mason jar lid.

Pour the boiling water into the mason jar. Don’t let kids touch the hot water! Pour in about 1/2 a cup of hot water into the jar.

image of child spraying water on top of water in a mason jar

Spray the surface of the water with hairspray. The hairspray helps the condensation linger on top of the water, which helps the cloud form more quickly and makes it easier to see.

Put your jar in front of a dark piece of paper and you’ll be able to see the cloud even better.

Quickly put the lid with the ice on top of the jar.

Image of blue water in a mason jar with ice on top of the jar. Creating a cloud in a jar

Within seconds, the cloud with start to form!

After the cloud forms, lift the jar and watch it float away!

Image of cloud in a jar science activity with condensed water at the top of the jar

If you leave the lid on the jar, you’ll note that after a couple of minutes, the cloud disappears. This happens when the water cools too much and there is no longer a big contrast between hot and cold in the jar. You can add more hot water and repeat the experiment as many times as you want!

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

rain cloud in a jar science experiment for kids
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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