Learning about rain clouds can be exciting and fun. They are a crucial part of the weather cycle and often hard to understand. Most seven-year-olds are naturally curious about the world around them, especially when it comes to the weather and rain clouds. Learning that rain comes from clouds and how clouds work gives kids a better perspective, especially on the days when the rain has them cooped up inside.
So, how do rain clouds work? A rain cloud is made up of water vapor, and as the cloud fills up with more and more water vapor, they become too heavy, and that is when the water vapor turns into rain and falls from the clouds.
To demonstrate this process, you can do a simple experiment with your child to help them better understand rain clouds.
- Shaving Cream
- Clear cup (glass or plastic)
- Blue food coloring
Step 1: Put the water in the cup. Leave about half an inch from the lip of the cup.
Make sure to explain how the water represents the air.
Step 2: Put a large amount of shaving cream on top of the water.
The shaving cream represents a cloud. The cloud is made up of water vapor.
Step 3: Explain what you plan to do next, which is: Squeeze out blue food coloring into the cloud at several points. See what your child thinks will happen once you add the blue food coloring.
This step teaches your child to hypothesize and predict the outcomes of their actions.
If they can’t come up with an idea, suggest different options such as the cloud may turn blue, the cloud may crumble into pieces, the “air” may turn blue, the blue drops may rain through the cloud, or the cloud may turn blue.
Step 4: Squeeze out blue food coloring into the cloud at several points.
The blue food coloring represents water vapor that is too heavy for the cloud to hold. It should rain down through the clouds and look like actual rain.
Step 5: Pour out the cup and repeat the process.
What Does This Project Teach My Child?
This easy project gives your child a better understanding of rain and how it comes from clouds, not just the sky. Your child learns that water is stored within the clouds until the water becomes too dense and heavy. Once the cloud fills up, the rain falls to the ground.