Weekend Kids Activity: Rainbow Rain Jar

Are you looking for something super fun AND educational to do with the kids this weekend? This is a simple science activity that’s also mesmerizing (and a fun way to celebrate Pride Month by making your own rainbow!).

Materials:

  • A glass or jar or vase
  • White shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Cups/bowls
  • Eye droppers
  • A spoon 
  • Paper towels
  • Water

Set-up:

Step 1: You begin by making your “rainbow rain”. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of water with several drops of food coloring and stir, using one bowl for each color of “rain” that you wish to make. Set these to the side once you’re finished.

Step 2: Fill a large glass or jar or vase 2/3 of the way full with cold water. Add a healthy pile of shaving cream to the top of the water. (This can be a fun but messy step for the kids!)

Now it’s time to make it rain rainbows!

The Experiment

Step 3: Have the kids use an eye dropper to drop the varying colors of water into the shaving cream cloud.

As the “cloud” fills with the varying water colors it will start to rain. The more colored water that is added the more rainbows that rain.

Pretty cool, right?!

The Science

This is a great way to teach kids about the weather, clouds, and rain. How Does it Work?

Just like a cloud the shaving cream slowly takes in the varying colors of rain. As the cloud fills it swells, holding as much inside as it can before reaching its capacity. It is at this point that the rainbow rain begins to fall. If you want to learn more, grab your library card and head to our ScienceFlix Database to check out their articles on Atmosphere and Weather!

Extend the Fun

You can experiment with the variables in this activity!

  • What happens if you use cold water verses hot water? Try it with two glasses side by side.
  • What if you were to use oil instead of water to fill the glass? (Spoiler: We tried it, and the results were SO COOL!)