What causes clouds to rain?

Posted By Annamaria and Albee  
03/03/2019
20:00 PM

One of our preschool parents expressed an interest in the science experiments being conducted in the senior preschool room.  So I decided to share this experiment conducted by our early childhood teacher Albee, in my blog.

 

Please note: Conducting this science experiment outdoors as you point out some of the clouds in the sky, can assist your child to hopefully make a connection between the experiment and what actually happens to cause precipitation.

 

Rain cloud science experiment-SPS- 22/2/2019

 

Aim: To explore how rain drops down from the clouds

 

During February the weather changed a lot.  It always seemed cloudy in the mornings and sunny in the afternoons. Then sometimes it rained in the evenings.  One day, a child asked me, ‘Why are there so many clouds in the sky’?  So we spent some time discussing this fascinating phenomenon and slowly other children joined in our discussion.  

 

Our senior preschoolers are always curious and interested in science experiments.  So I thought it would be great to conduct a simple hands-on experiment to help them explore and problem solve: ‘What causes clouds to rain'?

Below are the materials we used in this experiment:

  • Jar/glass– This allows the children the opportunity to see what is happening inside the jar/glass.
  • Eye dropper
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • Shaving cream

Once we gathered all the materials to conduct the experiment, I invited the children to fill their jar/glass with about 2/3 of water. I then passed around the can of shaving cream so they could add some to the top of the water.  I explained that the shaving cream represented a cloud and the water the atmosphere.  I then passed each child an eye dropper so they could place a few drops of food colouring on top of the shaving cream.  When this was done I asked them to watch their jar carefully to see what would happen.  As they observed, the weight of the food colouring started to filter through the shaving cream and fall onto the water.

 

The children watched how the coloured water became heavier on the ‘cloud’.  Avery knowingly said ‘It’s going to thunder.  Make a really big noise’.  The children continued watching as the coloured water then dropped down from the ‘cloud’. Rachael exclaimed ‘Cloud is falling down.’  This was then followed by Soham ‘I can see the cloud is falling down’.  Daniel excitedly said ‘It’s dropping’.  Then Samuel said ‘My one is slowly dropping down’.  And then out of nowhere, came Archie’s comment ‘I can see the rainbow’!

 

Children are such curious and inquisitive learners?  And I find the questions they ask and the comments they make are always a great source of amusement.  It always amazes me how much they really do understand and how much we as adults, don’t credit them enough for their amazing minds.

 

Here is a quote from Yawar Baig that sums it all up.

 

“Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine.”

 

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