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Easy Weather Science Experiments for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Easy Weather Science Experiments for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Has your child ever asked you where rain comes from? Or what is a tornado? When will it snow? Mine have. And that is awesome.

Weather is an amazing. It is just the sort of real world thing that gets kids excited about learning and STEM. They can see weather. They can feel it, hear it, and touch it.

That hands on learning will get your kids excited about science and wanting to learn more. And it can be very easy to learn about weather. (Bonus, you don’t even have to go outside to these weather activities!)

Weather Science Experiments for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Help your little ones learn about the weather going on outside their front door with these easy weather experiments!

Water Cycle in a Bag

Rain is a part of the water cycle. What’s the water cycle? It’s the pattern of how water moves through our environment.

The sun heats water on Earth and causes it to evaporate into a gas. This gas collects in the sky as clouds. The water in the clouds then condenses, or turns back into a liquid, and falls back to the Earth as rain.

It can be hard to see the whole water cycle in action, but you can make a smaller model at home!

picture of a water cycle bag taped to a window

Supplies for a Water Cycle Bag

  1. Sealable baggie
  2. Sharpie
  3. Water
  4. Blue Food Coloring (Optional)

How To Make a Water Cycle Bag

Take your baggie and draw a cloud at the top. Add a sun up there too. Then draw some lines to represent water towards the bottom of the bag, about an inch high. (The picture shows what I mean.)

Fill your baggie with water up to the water line you drew. You can add a couple of drops of blue food coloring at this point. It just looks cool and makes the water easier to see.

Seal up the baggie well and tape it to a sunny window. Now you wait.

This is an activity you set up and leave for a bit. It takes a little time for the water to evaporate, but you can check back on it throughout the day and see the different parts of the cycle.

The sun will cause the water to evaporate. You can see it start to condense in the clouds you drew. As the condensation builds up it will slide down the sides of the bag back to the water at the bottom. You made rain!


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Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

Our water cycle bag isn’t the only way to make rain happen. You can easily make a sensory rain cloud experience for your kids at home with just shaving cream.

picture of shaving cream rain clouds

Supplies for Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

  1. A Glass or Jar
  2. Shaving Cream
  3. Water
  4. Food Coloring
  5. Dropper or Straw

How To Make Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

Fill your glass or jar 3/4 of the way full with water. Add shaving cream to the top. This is our fluffy cloud.

Mix a little blue food coloring with some water. Again, this is option, but it makes the rain much easier to see.

Have your child add drops of the blue water to the cloud. As the water gets heavier and heavier it will start to fall out of the cloud and make rain!

This is what happens with real clouds. The water droplets get heavier and heavier until they fall down as rain. Fun fact: The average cumulus cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds!)

This activity works fine motor skills as your child manipulates the dropper or straw to add the droplets. You can also enjoy the sensory fun of playing with the clouds too.


Looking for more fun? Try these weather tracking worksheets!

weather tracking worksheets for kids

Tornado in a Bottle

Tornadoes are fascinating. But it can be hard to show them to kids as they happen. (Not to mention incredibly unsafe.) But you can make a tornado in a bottle!

picture of a tornado in a bottle

Supplies for a Tornado in a Bottle

  1. Two 2-Liter Bottles.
  2. Duct Tape
  3. Water
  4. Dish Soap
  5. Glitter (optional)

How To Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Fill one empty two liter bottle 3/4 of the way full of water. Add a squirt of dish soap and a sprinkle of glitter. (The glitter is optional. I know that is a controversial craft supply ;). It is pretty and fun, but this activity works just as well without it.)

Take the empty water bottle and put it on top of the filled one, opening to opening. Tape the bottles together so no water can escape.

To make your tornado turn the bottles over and swirl the top bottle in a circle a few times. The water inside will form a tornado!

Now this isn’t exactly like the tornadoes that occur in nature. Most tornadoes happen during thunderstorms. They need warm moist air to meet up with cool dry air. These different air currants create a very unstable system. Increasing wind speeds and changing directions are what cause tornadoes.

This is an extremely simplified explanation. For a more complete understanding, you can read this explanation.

Make Lightning with a Balloon

Lightning is another fascinating weather phenomenon that is cool to watch, but you don’t really want your kids out in a thunderstorm. So you can make lightning at home!

picture of a blue balloon and a spoon

Supplies to Make Lightning

  1. Balloon
  2. Metal Spoon
  3. Your Child’s Head

How To Make Lightning

Blow up the balloon. Take your child into a room that you can make completely dark. (We used the bathroom.)

Rub the balloon over your child’s head. Then turn off the light and touch the spoon to the balloon. You should see a spark. You made lightning!

The spark won’t be very big which is good from a safety standpoint. But it is a decent representation of what happens in a lightning storm.

Charges build up in a cloud with negative charges being at the bottom of the cloud. This in turn causes positive charges to build up down on the surface of the earth. Eventually, these two opposite charges build up enough to attract and you get lightning!

Make an Instant Rainbow

Rainbows are beautiful, especially because they usually appear after the rain. But you don’t have to wait for a storm to make one at home!

picture of shaving cream rain clouds with text 5 weather science activities perfect for preschoolers

Supplies to Make a Rainbow

  1. Glass of Water
  2. Piece of White Paper
  3. Sunlight

How To Make a Rainbow At Home

This one is super simple. Take a glass of water, about 3/4 of the way full, and take it to a sunny spot in your home. Right by a window works best.

Hold your glass of water up over the piece of paper and move it into the sunbeam. You should see a rainbow on the paper!

You might need to move the glass around a bit, but you should get a nice rainbow. Try moving the glass around to see how it changes.

This rainbow is the result of refracted light. The water bends the light waves, separating it into the different wavelengths that make up white light. These wavelengths are the colors we see.

You can learn more about how we see colors (and get fun color STEM activities) here: Color STEM for Kids.

Enjoy the Weather!

There are lots of great resources to learn more about weather. Here is one of my favorites: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/.

And just get out and talk about the weather with your kids! It is just the sort of real world thing that gets kids excited about learning and STEM. They can see weather. They can feel it, hear it, and touch it.

That realness makes STEM come alive.


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picture of a tornado in a bottle

Easy Weather Science Experiments for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

5 Fun and easy weather science experiments for preschoolers and toddlers. Help your children explore their world with these simple learning activities you can do with at home items.

Materials

Water Cycle Bag

  • Sealable Baggie
  • Sharpie
  • Water
  • Blue Food Coloring (Optional)

Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

  • Glass or Jar
  • Shaving Cream
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Dropper or Straw

Tornado in a Bottle

  • Two 2
  • Water
  • Duct Tape
  • Dish Soap
  • Glitter (Optional)

Lightning with a Balloon

  • Balloon
  • Metal Spoon

Instant Rainbow

  • Glass of Water
  • White Piece of Paper
  • Sunlight

Instructions

Water Cycle Bag

  1. Take a baggie and draw clouds near the top and water at the bottom.
  2. Add water to the bag up to the water line you drew.
  3. Add a few drops of blue food coloring.
  4. Seal the baggie and tape it to a sunny window.
  5. Watch the water cycle over the course of the day!

Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

  1. Fill a glass 3/4 full of water.
  2. Add shaving cream to the top of the glass.
  3. Mix a few drops of food coloring with water.
  4. Add drops of the mixture to the shaving cream clouds and watch it fall down into the water like rain.

Tornado in a Bottle

  1. Fill one empty 2-liter 3/4 full of water.
  2. Add a squirt of dish soap and a sprinkle of glitter.
  3. Turn the other 2-liter upside down and place it on top of the first. Tape the necks of the bottles together so the opening are lined up.
  4. Flip the bottles and swirl the top one to create a tornado!

Lightning with a Balloon

  1. Blow up a balloon.
  2. Rub the balloon on your child's head for 90 seconds.
  3. In a dark room, touch a metal spoon to the balloon.
  4. You will get a spark like lightning!

Make an Instant Rainbow

  1. Fill up a glass with water.
  2. Stand in a sunny spot (like by a window).
  3. Hold the glass of water in the sunlight and over a piece of white paper.
  4. A rainbow will appear from the refracted light!

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