Science for Kids: 2 Ways to Make a Cloud in a Jar

Amaze your kids while teaching them how clouds form in the atmosphere with this easy experiment.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

This easy science experiment will show your kids how water vapor is transformed into clouds. Best of all, it only takes a few supplies you most likely have around the house! It’s the perfect way to blend learning and fun all in one.

What You'll Need

  • empty glass jar with lid
  • hot water
  • blue food coloring (optional)
  • ice
  • aerosol spray (hairspray or disinfectant spray)
  • matches

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Prepare the Water

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Coloring the water is optional, but it does make the cloud stand out better. Pour hot (not boiling) tap water into a jar about 1/4 of the way full. Turn the lid upside down and place it on the top of the jar. Place several ice cubes onto the lid, and allow it to rest on the top of the jar for about 20 seconds. Then, remove the lid.

Method 1: Aerosol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Quickly spray a bit of aerosol spray into the jar, and then replace the lid with the ice still on top. The cloud will form instantly.

Method 2: Match

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Light a match, then hold the lit end in the jar for a few seconds to allow smoke to enter the jar. Then drop the match into the jar. Replace the lid with the ice still on top. The cloud will form a bit slower than with the aerosol spray.

How It Works

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Now for the science: When water vapor condenses onto particles in the air (such as dust, pollen or smoke), a cloud is formed. In this experiment, the particles were introduced via the aerosol spray and the smoke from the match. The ice on the lid created the condensation needed to form water droplets. The result: a mini cloud in a jar!

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Once you're done enjoying your cloud in a jar, open the lid and watch the cloud dissipate into the air.

More Kid-Friendly Science Experiments

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Next Up

Art Journaling With Kids: A Fun Way to Use Children's Artwork

Display your children's artwork in journals and scrapbooks to preserve their artistic endevours. Have the kids help putting the journals together to make it a family project.

Easy-to-Make Magnetic Letters for Kids

Make ABC magnet letters (and symbols!) using recycled cardboard. These durable, pretty, fabric-covered letters are perfect for home, school or car trips.

Kid-Friendly Craft Project: How to Make Bubble Art

Bubble art is a great craft project for kids of all ages, but it's especially ideal for the 3- to 6-year-old crowd who just can’t get enough of that bubble solution. "More bubbles," they demand! This simple backyard activity will keep them busy for awhile.

10 Creative Ideas to Keep Kids Busy All Summer Long

For when those lazy days of summer start to feel a little too lazy.

DIY Boo-Boo Buddies for All the Aches and Pains

Get rid of the ouch with kid-friendly ice packs that double as playful pals.

How to Make Shell Tiaras for a Mermaid

Every mermaid deserves a crown. Learn how to craft this inexpensive headpiece for an underwater-themed party or for an accompaniment to a Halloween costume.

Washable Crayon T-Shirts for Kids

Help kids create t-shirts they can color again and again after every washing.

Easy-to-Create Magnets

This great project for young crafters turns any lightweight item into a fun and functional magnet.

Masquerade Masks Made for Kids

What is a circus without some flair? Learn to create a papier-mache mask for your follies.

DIY Apple-Picking Tote Bag

Create a custom bag that's perfect for apple-picking adventures.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.