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Parents & Families

Rainstorm in a Jar

Rainy days can be boring for young children. Entertain them with this easy, 3-ingredient experiment. Show them how to make it rain!


Child-safe shaving cream

Food coloring



Clear jar or glass container

1 to 4 small cups for food coloring

1/4 teaspoon, eye dropper or plastic pipette



Prepare your colors. Add several drops of food coloring to about an ounce of water in a small container. Use one color or four. There is no need to mix colors. It’s more fun to watch them mix when they come out of the cloud.

Fill your glass or jar nearly to the top with tap water.

Make a great, big rain cloud of shaving cream on top of the water.

Drip the diluted food coloring onto your cloud and watch the rainstorm of color.

Note: Color may take a minute or more to seep through your cloud. But when it starts, it’s magical.


On ground level, warm air holds water that we can’t even see. Clouds are formed when warm air mixes with tiny particles like dust and rises high up in the sky. The air up there is colder. Cold air turns the warm air into liquid. The clouds become heavy, and we get rain.

* Food coloring will stain. You may want to cover your table before beginning. The colorful shaving cream cloud looks like a delicious treat. This is not a taste-friendly activity.


View/Download the PDF version here. (Right click and chose “Save Link As” to download).

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