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This shaving cream rain clouds basic science experiment is easy to create, pretty to watch and provides a fun way to explain how clouds work. To be honest though, Master 6 and Miss 3 were much more interested in creating the pretty rain than in listening to me talk about clouds!
What you’ll need:
– shaving cream
– food colouring (range of colours)
– eye dropper or syringe
– a glass, jar or vase (we experimented with different sizes and shapes)
– small containers or cups
First, fill each small container with water and add a different colour food colouring to each container. I used approximately 40ml of water per container, and about 20 drops of food colouring. The amount of water you use alters the ‘rain’, i.e. the less water you use (therefore the more concentrated the food colouring will be), the faster the rain will fall and the more water you use, the more rain it will make.
Select your glass or jar and fill it nearly to the top with water, leaving around 3-4 cm at the top. Carefully squirt the shaving cream on top of the water. The more shaving cream you use the longer it takes for the rain to fall, so don’t make it too high or the kids will get bored of waiting!
Using the eye dropper or syringe, drop the food colouring mixture onto the top of the shaving cream. The closer to the edge you drop it, the faster it was fall through.
The weight of the food colouring slowly pushes through the shaving cream and falls down into the water creating a pretty rain-like effect.
Miss 3 and Master 6 enjoyed using the eye dropper (which is excellent for developing fine motor skills) and mixing the colours together to see what colour rain would develop. This was a perfect time for a discussion around colours and colour mixing.
Repeat the experiment using a variety of different glasses, jars or vases.
If your children are interested, you can use this science experiment as an opportunity to explain about clouds. Here are some basic fun facts about clouds you can share with them:
- Tiny droplets of water in the air rise with warm air. As they rise, they get cooler. They combine with other droplets of water to form clouds.
- When those droplets get too heavy they fall from the sky as raindrops.
- Clouds look fluffy and light but the amount of water that makes up one cloud can actually weigh more then an airplane!
- Clouds are white because they reflect light from the sun. Gray clouds become so filled with water that they don’t reflect light. Masses of clouds form shadows, which can also cause the clouds to look gray.
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