Clouds in jars and on the table top too!

You will love exploring clouds in a jar with your students!

Creating a cloud jar is very new to me so when I saw so many other bloggers sharing the idea, I just had to try it in my class too and it was amazing – absolutely amazing.

Here’s a glimpse at what your cloud in a jar making could look like!


Reading about Clouds

Using our Scholastic Kid’s Magazine, we read about cumulus clouds and rainbows in simple terms during our morning circle time. During our discussion we discovered how the cloud fills up with moisture and the moisture then turns into rain and falls to the ground.

Exploring Clouds Through Science and Discovery

Creating a cloud jar was a great way to extend our morning discussion on cumulus clouds.

The Process

We started by covering the entire table with two layers of good quality paper towels. Then each child (threes through – Prek) was given their own mason jar filled 2/3’s with water. In addition, each child shared four cups of colored water (we added food color) with a partner. Every child was also given a dropper to work with.

I had different helpers help me set out the jars and the colored water. Each child was so intrigued by the mason jars that they worked extra hard to be very careful with them.  As we set up the table for our science experiment, we talked about each color of water and what they were going to do.

Once we had all the water and colored water in place, Mrs. Stewart added a “cumulus cloud” (shave cream) on top of the water in each child’s jar.

Making Observations

And then Mrs. Stewart demonstrated how to add drops of color on top of the shave cream then to watch carefully as the color made its way through the “cloud” and then dropped into our clear water down below.

Exploring Independently

Now it was time to let the children explore the process on their own. They were so focused and interested in coloring their clouds and as the colored water started to flow below the cloud, the children would shout out for me to come and see.

Documenting the Process

I could have watched the children explore this process all day and Miss Abby and I took way too many photos along the way!

The setup required some patience for the kids but once they begin to see it all come together – they were completely absorbed and intrigued by the process.

After adding as much color as they wanted to their jars, the water began to get very dark (but this took some time). So the children wanted to know if they could start all over again. I would have loved to but instead, I invited them to explore the colors on their paper towels.

But most of the children really liked the idea of coloring a cloud instead so, I just added a cloud to the table on top of the paper towels and they colored table top clouds instead.

Expanding on the Experience

As the children were ready to switch from cloud jars to table top clouds, we moved all the cloud jars into the middle of the table.

The children colored their table top clouds or the paper towels as long as they wanted. We did have one spill of some red water but we just added more paper towels on top of the spill and kept on going. The spill didn’t slow us down one bit.

We did this activity at the very end of our day, so once the children left, I simply rinsed out the jars and picked up the top layer of our paper towels to throw away.

What Colorful Creations!

I saved the bottom layer for the children to take home when they dry.

Links to Grow On…

Preschool Cloud Experiment from Reading Confetti

Shapes in the Sky; Clouds in the Jar from Almost Unschoolers

Raining Rainbows and Scientific Exploration from Beansprouts Preschool

Available on Amazon…



Picture of Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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