Demonstrating A Rain Cloud - Exploring Weather

preschool science weather lesson demonstrating a raincloud
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You wouldn't know it in Northeast Ohio {we received a nice dumping of snow this past Wednesday that has yet to melt}, but spring is supposed to bring brings warmer temperatures and rain as its most common form of precipitation. While your preschoolers have likely experienced many facets of a rain storm - watching the storm clouds gather, hearing {and even feeling!} the rumbling of thunder, seeing the flashes of lightening, having to cancel outside play/after school activities, getting caught in the cold drops, jumping in puddles - they may not understand how rain clouds form and function. We found this great Montessori-inspired weather activity at The Moveable Alphabet (via Living Montessori Now) where your students can see, up close, just how rain clouds work! Supplies You'll Need

  • Cotton ball
  • Shallow dish of water
  • Eyedropper
  • Shallow container

Gently pull the cotton ball apart, fashioning it in the shape of a cloud. As you slowly place drops of water onto the top of the "cloud" with they eyedropper, explain that the heat from the sun evaporates water on the Earth's surface where it, and other dust particles, 'stick' together to form a cloud. As more and more of these molecules accumulate, there comes a point when the cloud is too 'full', causing water droplets to fall back to the Earth as precipitation {rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc.}. By about the twelfth drop from the eyedropper, the cotton ball should be so saturated that 'rain' begins 'falling'. Continue this process, pointing out the drops that form at the bottom of the cotton ball. Finally, set aside the dropper and squeeze all of the water out of the cotton ball, showing students how much water 'clouds' can collect. [NOTE: When finished, consider setting the materials in the science center for individual exploration during free play.]

For this, and other great rain/weather projects, be sure to visit the full post at The Moveable Alphabet!