How To Make A Cloud In A Jar – Kitchen Science

how to make a cloud in a jar We are studying weather in my classroom right now and my own kids get to be the guinea pigs for all activities that I am not certain will go smoothly with my preschool class. I posted this Instagram of our first attempt and immediately people were asking for more information. I asked my kids to help me re-do the experiment with step by step photos so we did a little more kitchen science to show you how to make a cloud in a jar.

Gather your materials. You will need a glass jar with a lid ( although a snug dish will work), hot water ( boiling works even better), an aerosol spray ( we used hairspray), and ice cubes. If you have a child capable of handling boiling water a pyrex measuring cup is great to have on hand as well.how to make a cloud in a jar

Start by boiling the water then pouring it in the jar. We used about 1/3 of a cup.how to make a cloud in a jar

Quickly spray the hairspray into the jar. The spray gives the water vapor a surface to condense into tiny cloud droplets. Some experiments use a match instead. Both work but boiling water was enough of a risk for one experiment.how to make a cloud in a jar

Pop the lid on with the ice and watch the cloud form. how to make a cloud science experiment This was our 4th time overall doing this and my 4 year old was still amazed.how to make a cloud in a jar

When you are ready lift the lid and let the vapor out!how to make a cloud in a jar

For more science ideas check out our list of 15 Fun Science Experiments For Kids

15 easy science activities for kids

Freeze & Free – Preschool Science Experiment

preschool scienceHave I mentioned we are getting super excited for our upcoming trip to Disneyland? Well we are. I am not sure who is more excited me or the kids but one thing is for sure is that we are using this excitement to drive our activities. This preschool science experiment was also driven by a fun day at school. I work upstairs in then 2-3 class while my daughter is downstairs in PreK and last week the older kids were melting ice to free objects under the ice. She had so much fun I decided to adopt the idea for even more fun at home the next day. Of course using our Anna Magiclip Doll just added to the fun. Fun isn’t all my daughter was working on either between squeezing the pipettes, and digging the beads out of the ice she managed to work on a bunch of fine motor skills too.

Gather your materials. You will need a plastic container, some fun beads ( these ended up being so important, you’ll see), some eye droppers or pipettes, an Anna doll ( or any big item you want to freeze), water, a container for the warm water, a tray, and some paper towel.science forpreschool

Start by pouring a little water into your container. Add most of the beads. Let freeze.freeze anna from frozen scicence experiment

Add the Anna doll face down more water and the rest of the beads. The reason I did this in two stages is so her body wouldn’t all be at the very top. I wanted to make my daughter work to free her!

Let freeze ( this took hours).freeze anna in ice science experiment for kids

Get some warm water, the pipettes, some paper towel, and an eager excavator ready.freeze and thaw science experiment for kids

Pop the ice out of the plastic, turn it over and place it on the paper towel so it doesn’t slide everywhere.

Start squirting it with warm water.frreze and thaw anna frozen science experiment for preschool

My daughter was determined to free Anna as Elsa and Olaf watched.thawing anna scicence for preschool

She got some beads first. Then part way through she stopped and looked at me seriously saying ” Mom this is the amazing part of life!” I took that to mean the activity was a major success.freeze and free science frozen

There was a hold made by a air bubble under Anna so my 4 year old started shooting the hot water into it!frozen science idea for kids

We refilled the water and kept going. freeze anna science experiment for kidsShe caught a bead on the end of a pipette!fine motor frozen activity science

Finally we freed Anna and Elsa gave her a hug but that wasn’t the end of the fun. anna frozen science

 

hug frozenShe informed me that she had to free the rest of the beads.

Magnetic Sensory Bottles – Christmas Activities For Preschool

how to make sensory bottles My daughter helped me make these magnetic sensory bottles for my 2 & 3 year old preschool class. I took them in today and the kids had fun exploring with them. I sat with small groups and demonstrated then we  investigated the bottles letting them each make the magnets move and grove. The coolest discover was that we could make the bells jingle without shaking the bottle, just by moving the magnetic wand. That made my day, little discoveries like these are huge for young kids and tells me their little minds are engaged.

Here is how we made them.

Gather your materials. You will need some empty water bottles with lids, filler like pom poms, beads, colored beans, foil wrapping paper cut into small squares etc… You will also need some filler that is magnetic like pipe cleaners, jingle bells, and magnetic disks, hot glue gun, washi tape, and a magnetic wand. how to make sensory bottles

Start by filling your bottles with the regular filler. I had some help! holiday sensory bottles for preschool

If you are using pipe cleaners in your bottles cut them into small pieces. A tip for doing this without bits flying everywhere- bend the pipe cleaners around the scissors and hold both ends. sensory bottles for preschool with magnets

Add the magnetic filler. magnetic sensory bottles for toddlers

Glue the tops on. I add just a little hot glue on the inside of the caps then screw them on. Then I add a little more on the outside. christmas sensory bottles with magnets

Wrap a few layers of tape on top to make it pretty and add a little extra protection from the bottles being opened. Please remember that even with the glue kids can find ways into things we never expect them to get into. These like all our activities require close adult supervision. christmas sensory play

Time to test them out. christmas science for kidsShe loved making the pipe cleaners dance through the foil wrap but her big discovery was that she could lift one of the bottles up with just the magnetic wand!magnetic sensory bottles for christmas

 

Color Lab Science For Kids

color science for kids What would happen if we put watercolors in shaving cream? What about vinegar ? Or oil? Great hands on science always begins with ” I wonder…” and this color lab science activity was no exception. We wondered what would happen if we mixed water colors and different household liquids. After we explored our set questions it was time for completely kid directed play. We used liquid watercolors made with plain old paint instead of food color to avoid staining. Food color will make much more vivid colors.

Gather your materials. We used water, vinegar, shaving cream and oil for our liquids, liquid watercolors, some jars, an eye dropper, a cookie sheet, and goggles! color lab for preschool

Start by making liquid watercolors. Pop the disks out of the watercolor tray and add a little water. Sit for a few minutes and stir. liquid water color lab

Now you are ready to set up your color lab! Pour the liquids in ( I did the shaving cream) . color lab science for preschoolers

Time make a few predictions.

Grab your eye dropper and start adding colors. The eye dropper is important because it gives this activity an element of fine motor development as well, it takes a lot of coordination to make eye droppers work and works out the pincer grasp too. color lab water

She noted how slowly the colors floated down through the water.

The colors seems the same in the vinegar. I asked her if anything was different and she said the smell! Observing is a huge part of science!

The shaving cream was interesting because the color spread over it but didn’t mix much. She also discovered that if she pinched the eye dropper really hard the watercolor made a hole in the shaving cream. color lab shaving cream

The oil was rad. She had no previous experience with water in oil.  color lab oil wowShe was amazed when they turned into little dots of color and slowly sank down to the bottom. I loved seeing her experience this for the first time. color lab oil

Time to play. After going through each liquid it was time to mix them all together. mxing  color lab science

The shaving cream didn’t pour as well as the water did. color lab science pretend play

Want more science ideas for little ones? Check out our Science for Kids Pinterest board.

Flower Lab – Explore With Nature Activity

flower science project

Kids love to tinker and take things apart but you don’t have to stick to mechanical things they can take apart natural things too. This is a great nature activity for a rainy summer day when you still want to explore but can’t do it outside. Our bouquet was starting to wilt so  I decided to grab it off the hearth and gather some tools to dissect it with.  My three year old was slow to get into it but once she did the exploration was a hit.

Gather your materials. You will need some flowers with leaves and stems, a cutting board, plain white paper, a rolling pin or brayer roller, tweezers, and scissors.

Start by setting up the lab. Make it inviting. There is no wrong way to do this but creating an inviting set up can peak your child’s interest much more than if you just say ” Want to take apart some flowers?”. I put the lab on our coffee table and just left it alone waiting for her to decide it was time to explore. science for preschool

The tweezers drew her attention right away. She pulled petals off and I was giddy looking at how she was using and strengthening her fine motor skills. flower fine motor exploration

Next she made some prints by squishing the petals between the paper and using the brayer on it. Opening the paper to reveal the color left by pressing the flower into the paper.flower lab experiment for kids

She took her time taking these flowers apart. The buds were especially interesting. flower lab science for kids

The finale was cutting. She loves scissors and cutting the different textures was interesting and we talked about why some parts for the flower was easier to cut than others. flower lab exploration for kids

 

Books About Flowers

Here are a few of my very favorite books about flowers. For a longer list check our Flower Book List here. All of our book lists contain affiliate links.

tiny seed

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. My children both really like this book and I like how it connects kids to nature.

zinna's garden

Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.