Create a Pretty Rain Cloud in a Jar Experiment

5/18/21 - By Ally Noel

This colorful rain will have you wishing for cloudy skies every day! Nor do you need to be a professional meteorologist to pull off this easy science experiment for kids.

Create this scientific rain model using shaving cream to represent the clouds and dyed water as the raindrops. Rain is the result of water droplets becoming heavy enough for gravity to pull them out of the clouds as raindrops. As you add colored water to the shaving cream, young scientists can begin to understand how rain is created.

This experiment only requires food coloring, shaving cream, a glass jar, and pipettes. It's also just a fun craft project on rainy days for kids as young as preschoolers to tweens. Find more science experiments in our STEM and Science Activities Guide for Kids.

Materials Needed for the Rain Cloud in a Jar Experiment 

  • Food Coloring 
  • Water
  • A large clear jar, such as a mason jar or vase 
  • Smaller glass jars 
  • Foaming shaving cream 
  • Pipettes 

Pick your colors.

How to Create a Rain Cloud in a Jar Science Experiment

Step 1

Mix the food coloring and water in the smaller glass jars. We used the primary colors to see if we could create rainbow-colored rain. 

Step 2

Fill the glass jar about three-quarters to the top with cool water. 

Shaving cream stands in for the clouds.

Step 3

Use the shaving cream to make a fluffy cloud on top of the water in the jar. 

Add in your 'rain.'

Step 4 

Use the pipettes to suck up some of the colored water and then squirt it on top of the shaving cream cloud.  

Step 5

Keep adding small amounts of colored water until you observe colored raindrops making their way through the shaving cream cloud. This may take a few minutes, and it depends on how saturated your colored water is and how much shaving cream was used to create the cloud.

Check out your pretty raindrops!

Step 6

Observe the raindrops as they fall through the shaving cream, er, clouds!

Photos by the author